This morning webjam breakfast was organised to trigger the discussion on the use of social media in the context of work. The small group was greeted by Marc Campman, the marketing director who invited Euan Semple a social media thought leader to share his thought.
Euan surely knows his stuff, giving loads of examples of application of social media in the work place. He started by quoting the Cluetrain Manifesto, defining internet disruptive impact as: globally distributed, near instant, person to person conversations, peer-to-peer communication.
A few examples of the use of social media by companies in the work context (unsorted):
- Workers using social media as a tool to get information.
- The use of wiki and forums to sharing the information.
- A internal blogs which has more reader than the staff newsletter.
- Twitter used to tap into the crowd wisdom to get questions answered and Yammer, the twitter like version for the workplace, being used.
- The well known case of staff, helping their company with customer issues or queries via twitter and other social media. A person to person communication.
- The use of social media for recruiting by posting job specs for instance.
Marc C. explained WebJam’s vision, pointing out the ‘brand ambassador’ benefit that social media should bring to the workplace. They are helping a big company developing their social media ‘inside the firewall’. The approach he says was to focus on the user (employee) enabling them sharing and contribution. An Intranet 2.0 with a smaller place for top-down message. A Facebook like site for colleagues.
The point, I think, with the social media in the workplace is about replicating and enhancing existing human behaviours, in the digital space. Throughout the example we saw the promise of more peer-to-peer conversation and less trying top-down communication. Which is, in essence a change that some organisation are already embracing. Social media might well be its catalysis.