A new Microsoft and Accenture survey says O&G interest in social media up; journalists join the conversation.

By Robyn Brown

Last July, I wrote a blog entry about organizations that are successfully bridging popular consumer collaboration technology into the work environment. Sabre Holdings, for example, connects its 9,000 global employees through an internal social network called SabreTown. Applications like these provide a personal connection for teams located miles apart geographically, but must still work together as if they are one cubicle away.

Here’s the update: In addition to being a strict communication tool, other industries such as oil and gas are finding real-world business value in social media, especially when used in oilfield operations. According to a Microsoft and Accenture survey announced recently at Microsoft’s Global Energy Forum 2010, social media provides the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere and aids in project completions. Of the 275 oil and gas professionals surveyed, 68 percent said that social media improves their work performance – impressive coming primarily from people who work daily in oil and gas industry work groups and project teams where collaboration occurs the most.

 In fact, nearly 75 percent of respondents see value in using social media at work – an 83 percent increase over 2009. Surprising? Pipeline & Gas Journal (@PipelineandGas) seemed to think so, based on a recent tweet. The publication is actually one of many oil and gas trade publications that have made the jump to social media with presence on Twitter and blogs. Other avid Twitter users include Oil & Gas Journal (@OGJOnline), sister publication Oil & Gas Financial Journal (@OGFJ), World Oil (@WorldOil) and industry social network Energy People Connect (@EnergyPeople). In a Jan. 22 OilOnline article, U.S. editor Jennifer Pallanich drilled into the evolving nature of collaboration within the oil and gas industry and the increasing prevalence of social media to get work done. OilOnline posted a link to the article on Twitter the same day.

Whether it’s petroleum engineers collaborating on a project via the Web or journalists connecting with their readers on Twitter, social media continues to provide new and innovative avenues for communication. I am astounded daily by the people I locate and the information I find from social media both for personal use and for my clients.

After all, it’s all about expanding your reach to new audiences (perhaps, a future blog entry?).

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