By Robyn Brown

Web 2.0 is a common phrase tossed around to describe much of the social media applications we’re so obsessed with today. Consumer applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flicker are intended to distract, entertain and connect us with our peers. In most cases, these tools are regarded as a ‘no, no’ at the workplace. “Quick, don’t let the boss catch you updating your Facebook status!” can probably be heard across many cubicles right now.

By its very definition though, these social computing tools enable us to be, well… social! They successfully create two-way conversations between one-to-many or even many-to-many audiences, expanding the reach of more limited communication tools like e-mail or phone calls. Organizations are starting to take a second-look at these Web 2.0 applications that when used within the enterprise can actually heighten worker productivity, connect people to new knowledge holders and help employees quickly find solutions to red flag items or questions.

Here’s a picture of how these tools might be used internally:

  • Project team members collaboratively editing documents in wikis or workspaces
  • Creating an internal social network that gives employees the chance to create their own profile page. Employees from across the company, even those located in widespread geographies can find needed support by searching for past experience, new insight or current projects – all logged on profile pages.
  • Employees close to retirement logging knowledge into podcasts or blogs that are made available to others.

There are numerous other uses for social computing applications within the enterprise, and it is positive to see that executives are empowering their staffs one step further for effective communication and productivity.

Many of our clients at Brooks & Associates are incorporating similar functions within their own walls or making these tools available to their customers.