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A Starting Point.

September 13, 2010

The speed in which Social Media has enveloped our personal lives is staggering.  We hear lots of commentary on the negatives, the sublime, and the one in a million stories of people being eaten by lions because of a status update, or being discovered and made famous because of a song or video that went viral.

The fact is that we in our lives can use these public domain platforms to share what information we wish, if we wish, but can the same be said for our organisational worlds.  Would we be, under the right set of circumstances as open and sharing here, where reputation and perception play a large part of our modus operandi?  I currently work as an IT professional for a US multi national with facilities scattered across the globe, and I am studying for a business degree part-time by night.  For my final year dissertation I am researching organisations and how Web 2.0 technologies have potential for increases in productivity, staff relations, general communication, and situational awareness, both within the organisation,  and environment in which they operate.  Can social media be used as the primary strategy for effective communication in the future, and what will define the medium.

Topics I envisage covering include organisational culture, the varying attitudes to working life and work life balance across countries,  attitudes of employees to their employment and why these attitudes exist or manifest, and of course the advances in technology making us more connected.  Will this research allow me to recommend the universal acceptance of social technologies as a way of doing business?  It will be a big jump converting peoples attitudes from e-mail as the primary method of communication in the professional world to social media technologies/platforms.  This has happened already in our general web usage when in April 2009 Nielson reported that,

“In February, social network usage exceeded Web-based e-mail usage for the first time.”

I am not sure the path this research will take yet, but I think this Dilbert strip sums up a lot of organisational leaders macro view of social media at present, due in a large part to a lack of understanding or perhaps vision of what is possible.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 1:36 pm

    Hi Fergal,

    Interesting Blog.. we ( wrote a social network type application for the Manx Government to stimulate return of Manx Graduates to the Isle of Man, called, funnily enough .

    We’ve looked at similar solutions for internal IT departments for government bodies (such as Nhs) also.

    On one of my OU Courses, Software Requirements for Business Systems, we used Wiki’s to collaboratively work on defining and analysing requirements for a system on the course, and have to comment on the effectiveness of it.


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