Regardless of security restrictions inside your enterprise, you and the projects you are working on are probably being talked about online. There’s always been dialog between colleagues and friends – after work in the pub, on the phone, through personal emails.
The latest stats from Nielsen Online show a significant decline in month-over-month unique visitors to Facebook in the US. In April, traffic fell to 22.4M uniques, down from the 24.9M reported in March. Year-over-year traffic growth decelerated from 98% to a much more modest 56%. MySpace also saw a modest decline (from 60.3M to 58.7M), while LinkedIn continued its torrid growth from 7.8M uniques in March to 8.6M in April.
While focus in the above excerpt is on who’s gaining or losing traction in the social network space, the reality is that enterprise employees – and ex employees - are increasingly interconnected by social networking sites outside their work environment. The overall numbers of users is vast and growing, and it's quite conceivable a future software generation will trump the present incumbents, providing greater utility and therefore usage.
I’ve recently seen sudden massive Facebook uptake between employees at a large corporation; despite relatively late adoption it appears to be a fashion that has swept that enterprise with great momentum.
Employees and their associates now have the ability to collaborate outside work using sophisticated online infrastructure to discuss projects, management styles, new jobs, rivalries and so on.
Typically Linked In is used as a sort of professional resume and business contacts site for networking and job hunting, while Facebook is for social connections.
Much has been written about ‘web generation’ users growing up using the web, just as previous generations adopted telephones or offline computers as part of life. What is less often discussed today is the void left if an enterprise doesn’t have an efficient collaboration space internally: there is a safety valve for employees to talk about that and a whole lot more… it’s on the public internet, and more and more people are using it.