Prior to the Gore/Chambers session at VoiceCon yesterday Dan York and I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with Eric Krapf and Fred Knight on social networking in the enterprise. I thought the most fascinating part of the discussion was over the impact of social networking in an enterprise environment, specifically - "what do I want to know about my co-workers"? Dan cited an example in which he discovered via a Facebook profile that a colleague possessed extreme political views, which had the potential to change how he viewed his colleague and potentially lead to a disruption in their working relationship.
But as we increasingly move to a virtual working model in which co-workers are no longer sharing the same physical workspace, we lose the social interactions that allow us to form bonds beyond working relationships with our colleagues. Social networking in effect can replace the water cooler or break room as a meeting place to build these personal relationships that can foster a better working environment. But of course, as Dan's example demonstrates, there's always the risk of TMI. I'm curious to hear of any experiences that readers may have in using social networking to build personal interaction in virtual organizations.
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