Social networking on the Intranet

Introducing social networking tools on a company’s intranet is a complex undertaking. Much consideration is needed to turn this organic information sharing toolset into a business-effective investment. I could make this article an analysis of the pro’s and con’s, or an inventory of the available social networking tools and how they could be fitted into a professional environment, but that must have been done before.

Two things I want to share. First, my experience that social networking tools are worthless unless they can be interconnected. Check my recent post on how difficult it was to share some website content to my facebook… that’s a nice experiment, but it won’t work for regular use! Not only must the networking tools be interconnected, they must also be able to share information with the corporate tools. To deploy social  networking in an R&D department, the tools used for requirements management, software analysis, documentation management, defect tracking and build management must be ready to share information. If all these tools are web-deployed, the minimum requirement is that they offer static URL’s to access public information.

So far for theory, now I’d like to show just a simple example of how a co-worker’s intranet blog might be useful. The users of Microsoft Project might have experienced the ordeal to make the task bars move to the direction you want them to… so what if your colleage is having the same problem? Just search the intranet blogosphere. Finding the right answers will lead to organic standardization of using tools within the organization, without the need to maintain a “Tools and Procedures” team.

See the next post for the useful co-worker’s blog entry 😉

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