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Microwhatting in the enterprise?

Microblogging applications will eventually roll out in the enterprise. There’s tremendous value to be gained from the new communications platform. Guest post by Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting.
Written by Jennifer Leggio, Contributor

This guest post by Laura Fitton, founder and CEO of Pistachio Consulting, explores the trend of microblogging for the enterprise

Microblogging applications will eventually roll out in the enterprise. There's tremendous value to be gained. I know this. I've made, and will continue to make, the case elsewhere, including this panel at Enterprise 2.0. Way back in September I jotted to myself:

"...(an internal version of Twitter) could be an incredible business system, and people aren't seeing that yet... think of corporations before they had email, then take it to the 10th power. i see private label intranet twitters in my head -- networks and subnetworks and closed groups and open groups and workgroups" (9/4/2007)

It's a new communications platform. The latent value of what this growing raft of publishing/social networking applications can do is immense. But I hate the term microblogging to describe it.

Microblogging doesn't capture the potential of what these applications can do. We've seen career, business, personal, mentoring, collaboration, emergency response, team cohesion and tons of other substantial, valuable outcomes. On Twitter in particular, people start within the trivial "what are you doing?" framework, and eventually discover themselves making serious business and personal connections. Often, stronger and faster than on other social networking platforms.

Not enough of the general population truly gets "blogging" in the first place. "Micro"blogging just sounds even more arcane and inane. And let's face it, Twitter's apparent inanity is an Achilles heel.

True to form, I tweeted this:

Microsharing in the enterprise

So, what about "microsharing?" Sharing among a group of loosely connected individuals is what makes the medium valuable. It makes it fast and easy to share ideas, questions, needs, suggestions, advice, resources, news, information, updates, etc. Exchanging short bursts of content facilitates powerful personal and business connections. Microsharing harnesses the power of loose ties.

If the term for Twitter, Pownce, etc. were "microsharing" not "microblogging," would more ppl. in your co. listen to your explanation of it?

Adoption is one of the biggest challenges for enterprise 2.0 Sure, a rose by any other name, and all, but adoption is a serious and expensive problem in enterprise 2.0 deployments. Making the tools, concepts and advantages much easier to grasp is a big deal. That means starting from something people understand.

Sharing means something to the average person. Collaboration, connection, networking and mentoring are strong examples of sharing in business context. People have experience with the word and an idea what it might mean and why it might be valuable. Blogging, which I know to be valuable, just doesn't have that universal acceptance yet.

What is your best suggestion?

Microcollaboration is awkward. Microposting? As jargony as Microblogging. Microconnecting? I picture wiring harnesses. Micronetworking? Does it capture publishing, consumption and collaboration? "Micro-" could be jettisoned, but I like the slight "tech" flavor it imparts. I also like that it doesn't rule out any of the many types of content (audio, video, images, text, links) that make the medium valuable.

By the way, initial response (on Twitter, where else?) ...was mostly good: far better than "microblogging"; It captures the community/social aspects; more apt; better represents the concepts involved; I like; I like microsharing too- sharing snippets of info; we're sharing links, photos, new(s) besides 'what are you doing?'; Microsharing is far more accurate; I think you're on to something; the more general, the better.

...with some good critiques: vague and confusing; "sharing" is such a general, amorphous term; Sharing implies a touchy feelie thing; just not a meaningful term in business.

(Use Summize to track this discussion on Twitter.)

For more than 15 years Laura Fitton (@Pistachio on Twitter) has focused on reshaping society and business through ideas and information. Fitton is an authority on business uses of Twitter, writes several popular blogs and is in the vanguard of thinkers on how social media will reshape business. Shel Israel recently profiled her for the SAP Global Survey. Fitton studied science writing with Carl Sagan, has been a marketing executive, consultant, speaker, rock climber, journalist, blue-water sailor and chef. She is a stroke survivor, lives near Boston with two toddlers and two giant Leonbergers, and stays very active rockclimbing, surfing, playing hockey and doing yoga.

(Laura Fitton image by David Sifrey, CC 2.0)

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