I’ve been thinking recently, that for me the problem with the hype surrounding Social Media, is that people often just think of it as a marketing tool and nothing more. However, forget that facebook, twitter, digg…etc exist and think of Social Media as an ethos and a philosophy. These are communication tools that enhance our ability to collaborate, create groups and use the web in a far more sociable and connected way.
But by sociable, I don’t mean to socialise. No, I mean to communicate, work together, share experiences and much more. These tools are being used to great effect by even some of the most traditional of companies and industries. For me, this is a natural step for internal communications and one that comes with many benefits such as:
I have in the past used my Google Account because of the collaborative functionality that comes with this. I can share my calendar with colleagues, I can use the chat functionality for conversations, I can share and create documents with them in real time, I can share folders with them, create discussion groups, maps/itineraries, photos…
I’m even worried that I’m not using these tools to their full potential and that I’m missing out on plenty more tools and functionality (mobile integration for instance). The extent to which these tools can allow us to increase our productivity at work is incredible, but what this also allows is for colleagues to work from different places and therefore bring more flexibility to the work environment.
There is nothing better than face to face communication, but I think that society and contemporary business practices have evolved towards an era of increased flexibility, in terms of working hours, working location and communication methods. Collaborative and shared tools which are hosted online facilitate this and are essential as modern working lives move into this new era.
To conclude, I think that we need to stop seeing Social Media simply as Facebook and Twitter. It is the idea of using web 2.0 type technologies in order to better connect people whether at work or in their personal lives. There is fantastic potential for these tools to enhance productivity, collaboration and creativity within companies but what are your thoughts on the use of web 2.0 technology and Social Media type tools in the workplace? Do you use them yourselves or have you thought of doing so?
I’d love to hear from you with your thoughts on this topic, so please don’t hesitate on commenting below.
Thanks for reading,