Is Social Networking the Answer for Everyone?

10 Apr

Before the world began to circulate around the Internet, socialization consisted of face-to-face human interaction.  As technology progressed, email became a more frequent, slightly less formal way to communicate.  Nowadays, however, socializing can happen in many different forms and arenas; the most popular could arguably be social networking through Facebook.  While first limited to those enrolled in college, Facebook currently allows for constant interaction among people of all ages across the world.  In fact, Facebook has become a common domain for businesses to market to their consumers and enhance their customer relations.  As the capabilities of social networking expand, is there opportunity for businesses to use it as a form of internal communication?

The Proposal

Applications such as Jive Software, Yammer Inc., Tibco Software, and Salesforce.com Inc., were developed with large companies in mind.  These services allow employees to create profiles within the company’s network.  With these profiles, employees can form groups to collaborate and communicate about their tasks and individual roles for the assignment.  Furthermore, the software allows workers to be aware of what other employees specialize in and are working on by simply “following” their status updates.  In a sense, “stalking” your coworkers on the social network creates a simple method for employees of a business to keep in close contact and collaborate more efficiently.

But What About Email?

Believe it or not, email is becoming outdated.  From personal experience, I can attest to the nuisance of sending emails to everyone in a group.  Whether it be to assign tasks, collaborate information, or even just to find a time to meet, the endless amount of “reply-alls” that I receive, most of which do not even pertain to me, clutter my inbox so much to the point that I stop opening them and therefore ignore the one that was intended for my eyes.  Having a group on a network similar to Facebook would facilitate these discussions in a much simpler manner.

Too Informal?

Social networking calls for a more colloquial form of speech. Allowing businesses to communicate in these terms may take away from the seriousness of the task and respect for leadership.  Employees may also get carried away with the network and utilize it the way they would normally do with Facebook or Twitter.  Conversely, the company network would also allow for a more convenient way of communication among employees.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702304459804577285354046601614-lMyQjAxMTAyMDAwNzEwNDcyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email

by Alexa Gordon

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3 Responses to “Is Social Networking the Answer for Everyone?”

  1. Kyle Billig April 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I definitely agree with your claim that communication is becoming more and more informal. I am a huge supporter of face-to-face interaction and feel that there is no substitute for physically sitting down and talking with someone. However, technology has allowed us to communicate in ways that we have never been able to. Although these forms of communication may not seem as strong, they are a necessary part of today’s world and make it convenient to communicate across distances.

  2. Connie Chen April 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I agree that it can be a nuisance to sort through email and have often wondered if email will become obsolete soon. At the same time, I think email providers, namely Google, are taking steps to ensure email remains a daily necessity. The creation of Google docs and other such add-ons enhances the email experience and makes it harder to give up email. I think email will be a mainstay in our lives for the foreseeable future, though other sites may become more popular too.

  3. Lisa Kang April 16, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Same with Kyle, I have some of the best conversations in my life face to face with people. Not so much with social networking. Social networking does have a use when chatting with friends, sending out messages, and uploading photos, etc., but as far as more formal communication, I don’t think so. I still think email is one of the best ways to communicate in formal situation.

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