So, what is this social networking stuff?
Last week we did a little dance at our desks when Slashdot reported that social networking at work is good. We’ve been encouraging clients to embrace these new communication channels (as appropriate) – and not be afraid of what’s new.
The fear, I think, comes from the unknown. With names like Twitter, Flickr, and blog (oh my!) it’s not instantly clear what you’re getting into. So let’s break it down.
If we had to define the tricks of the social media trade on a bumper sticker, here’s what we’d have:
- Blog – Online journal, a “web log”
- Twitter – Mini blog… 140 characters or less
- Yammer – Twitter for business
- Technorati – Google for blogs
- Del.icio.us – A social bookmarks manager
- MySpace – Your personal website for connecting with friends
- Facebook – MySpace that started in academia
- LinkedIn – Business networking and contacts site
- YouTube – Online video sharing
- Flickr – Online photo sharing
- Second Life – A virtual reality
- Podcast – “Talk radio” to play on your iPod
- RSS – Tivo for the web – it puts what you want online in one place
Based on the definitions above, I’d have to say that we are a little surprised that the article featured Facebook as the tool that workplaces should encourage. Business-specific social networking sites do exist – specifically LinkedIn and Yammer. We have experience with both, and would recommend these as easy launching points for companies who are just getting their toes wet.