Social Networking Management


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Social tools are booming nowadays. Even if it was, at the very beginning, restricted to innovative students and Web evangelist it is now gaining the business world.
In this paper we explain the power of social networks and we look over their multitude. We bring out the possible use in enterprise to optimize communication, collaboration, corporation and connection. And we draw, at the end, a theoretical model for enterprise to start Web 2.0 integration in their information system.

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Social Networking Management

  1. 1. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE S O C I A L N E T WO R K I N G M A N A G E M E N T Maps of the Internet by The Opte Project. This map represents the location of every single class C network on the Internet and shows how everything is connected. Can this visual be used to extrapolate social connections? Social Networking Management 1/50
  2. 2. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract 3 Acknowledgements 4 Introduction 5 1.Social Networks are not Only Online Tools! 7 1.1.What is a Social Network? 7 1.2.Networks, Symbol of Power! 9 2.A Multitude of Online Social Networks 11 2.1.A Booming Environment 11 2.2.Social Networks Macro-Segmentation 15 2.3.Standardization of Types of Information 17 3.Enterprise 2.0 a First Step 22 3.1.Definitions and Benefits 22 3.2.Actions, Tools and Usefulness 29 3.3.Benefits are in Use 38 Conclusion 44 Bibliography 46 Annexes 49 Interviews 49 Social Networking Synthetic Model 50 Social Networking Management 2/50
  3. 3. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE ABSTRACT Social tools are booming nowadays. Even if it was, at the very b e g i n n i n g , r e s t r i c t e d t o i n n o v a t i v e s t u d e n t s a n d We b evangelist it is now gaining the business world. In this paper we explain the power of social networks and we look over their multitude. We bring out the possible use in enterprise to optimize communication, collaboration, corporation and connection. And we draw, at the end, a theoretical model for enterprise to start Web 2.0 integration in their information system. Keywords: Social Networks, Web 2.0, Enterprise Les outils sociaux explosent de nos jours. Même si leur usage était, au départ, restreint aux étudiants innovants et aux évangélisateurs du Web, il gagne aujourd’hui le monde de l’entreprise. Ce mémoire explique la puissance des réseaux sociaux et leur diversité. Il développe ensuite les améliorations possible que les services sociaux apportent à la communication, la collaboration, la coopération et les connections dans l’entreprise. Il présente enfin un modèle théorique pour l’intégration des outils Web 2.0 dans le système informatique d’une entreprise. Mots clés : Réseaux sociaux, Web 2.0, Entreprise Social Networking Management 3/50
  4. 4. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS* Achieving this final year thesis was a long but fascinating work. However, it should not have been possible to end it without the support of brilliant friends and the help of great networkers and skillful connectors. I firstly want to express one’s gratitude to Elvis Buckwalter my thesis tutor for his constant and careful attention, together with his acute advices regarding research paper and his careful corrections. Secondly, I would like to express a full recognition to Philippe Dewost for his outstanding guidance at the beginning of my thesis and his cautious corrections at the end of it. Thirdly, I want to thanks Christian Pautrat, my manager at T- Systems for his encouragements, his well-experienced advices and the time he gave to focus on my thesis. Furthermore and finally, I want to say thank-you to Anu Kohtamäki, Laurent Pantanacce, Yves de la Serre and also to all my active Tweighborhood* for their constructive suggestions throughout the year. * Group of Twitters who follow one another Social Networking Management 4/50
  5. 5. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE Introduction Nowadays, the big buzz on the Internet and in lots of conversations is social net- works or the activity of networking socially. Even if these activities of being social are old as the world is, the development of online tools has been exploding for the past few years and is “transforming our life, work and world”.1 It is a commonplace observation that activities on the Web are constantly growing and social networking is completely exploding. First used by students for their private life, social platforms: Facebook and MySpace are now great places to connect, communicate, market artists, products and companies as well as share information worldwide. As the Y generation is entering in the workplace, the demand of social tools is also growing in companies. Employees want new tools to be more effective and more connected with their colleagues, clients and partners. But how-to synchronize the use of social networking between very different worlds? Compared to student life, an enterprise is first of all a business; an organization fo- cuses on profits and not only well-being as students are! Most of the time, informa- tion is vitally strategic and can’t be spread out all around the globe. Filtering sensitive information and controlling intellectual property rights is, for most business organiza- tions, an everyday battle both internally and externally. Furthermore, business or- ganizations generally have a multiplicity of stakeholders from shareholders and em- ployees, to civil servants, which bring about a more hierarchical division of labor which should be managed using social tools. Therefore, all these important points should be taken into consideration to setup and adapt the concept of social software in companies. In addition, social networks are still perceived as vague and dangerous for most hu- man beings. What is a Social Network? What are its goals? Which values and effec- tiveness does it have on our private and business lives? There are still unanswered questions. 1 Fraser, Matthew, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom (Wiley, 2008). Social Networking Management 5/50
  6. 6. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE In my thesis, I am going to explain social networks by jumping into this new “virtual” world. In the first part, I’m going to explain what the power of networking is. In the second part, I will look over the multitude of networks and in the last one, I will bring up their possible uses in companies and explain usable tools to optimize communica- tion, information sharing and cooperation in your business life. Everything on the Web is faster and informal, providing a huge opportunity for hack- ers. As a result, privacy and security will also be a discussed in this thesis. As Tapscott described “The corporation of old simply doesn’t work anymore. Busi- ness transformation enabled by information is required to succeed in the new environment.”2 So, as everything is moving to the Web and everything on the Web is getting social, we have to follow and to make it better. 2Caston, Don Tapscott and Art, Pradigm Shift: The New Promise of Information Technology (McGraw- Hill Companies, 1992). Social Networking Management 6/50
  7. 7. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 1. Social Networks are not Only Online Tools! 1.1. W H A T IS A SOCIAL NETWORK? Nowadays, when we speak about social networks, the first words that come to mind are: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. But aren’t they misused words? These websites are only online services. If this malapropism is so common, lets examine different social networks definitions. Urban dictionaries generally qualify social networks as websites, where people can add “friends”3 and communicate with them in multiple ways such as by leaving com- ments on posted pictures or blogs, or perhaps sending them a message. Besides, posting multimedia content, whether proprietary (self authored) or (un)licensed from other sources is a key characteristic of such services, which makes them sometimes perceived as media. More reliable sources, such as the Cambridge or the New Oxford American Diction- ary, define social networking as: “meeting people who might be useful to know, espe- cially in your job” or as “a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes”. Furthermore, Ivy Wigmore, the well-known IT encyclopedic writer, explains: “Social networking is a practice of expanding the number of one's business and/or so- cial contacts by making connections through individuals. While social networking has gone on almost as long as societies themselves have existed, the unparalleled poten- tial of the Internet to promote such connections is only now being fully recognized and exploited, through Web-based groups established for that purpose.”4 I particularly like the third definition and the second also, since they bring up debate and hint that our favorite online tools – which are trendy today – would be completely old-fashion tomorrow! 3Generally people they may see once a day and never communicate with in person, or close friends they actually do associate with. 4Wigmore, Ivy, Whatis.Com, 2006, Available:,,sid9_gci942884,00.html. Social Networking Management 7/50
  8. 8. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE Above we have pointed out three important words and notions I want to clarify: • Firstly “social networks”, which are media-based. We can also define them as: online tools, networking website or social networking services (SNS) as Thomas Kiehne defined it5 . As the main subject of this thesis, we are going to discuss their use, advantages and disadvantages within corporations. • Secondly networking, which is the action taken. By using social networks or clubs, participating in congresses, meeting people, exchanging business cards, etc. we are building links between people: we are networking. • And finally network, which is in our case the goal. By networking we are cre- ating personal and professional networks. For example, Franklin Roosevelt had more than 22,000 names in his appointment book: he had an important network, he was a connector. Human beings are essentially social creatures and through meetings, phone calls, written communication – and nowadays emails and online social networks – we make contact, keep in contact, build and look after personal and professional net- works. To clarify these three terms, I will sum up with the following statement: By using dif- ferent networks, we are networking to build our network. 5 Kiehne, Thomas P, "Social Networking Systems: History, Critique and Knowledge Management Poten- tials," University of Texas at Austin, 2004. Social Networking Management 8/50
  9. 9. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 1.2. N E T W O R K S , S Y M B O L OF POWER! Before analyzing the social networks’ place in our world and especially in our compa- nies, lets overview different stories which demonstrate the power networks have had for ages, not to mention the expansion of online social networks. Paul of Tarsus, an early Christian missionary, used his firsthand knowledge of the so- cial network of the first century’s civilized world from Rome to Jerusalem to reach and convert as many people as he could. He did not wander randomly, however, he reached out to the biggest communities of his era, to the people and places in which the faith could germinate and spread most effectively.6 Nineteen centuries after that, Lois Weisberg, a grandmother who lived in a big house in Chicago spending all her time between cafés and cigarettes, was far from being the most important or the most powerful person in Chicago. But if you connect all the dots that constitute the vast apparatus of government, influence and interest groups in the city you’ll end up coming back to Lois again and again. She was a connector: the epicenter of the city administration.7 To describe social networks’ power, thousands of stories can be told, from US Presi- dents to the anonymous. Even if these stories are separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles, they aren’t completely disconnected. They all have a com- mon point: they are stories of men and women, they are stories of great networkers, they are stories of connectors. In The Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell defined it clearly: “What makes someone a connector? The first--and most obvious--criterion is that Con- nectors know lots of people. They are the kinds of people who know everyone. All of us know someone like this.” 8 Robyn Henderson also explains that: “Great networkers make great leaders because they have unlocked the potential of networking in their busy lives. They have created simple systems that enable them to 6 Barabási, Albert-László, Linked (2003). 7 Gladwell, Malcolm, "Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg," The New Yorker (1999). 8 Gladwell, Malcom, The Tipping Point (2000). Social Networking Management 9/50
  10. 10. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE connect with others, stay connected and create valuable lifetime connections with key players, spheres of influence and other master networkers.”9 Everyone knows connectors and, the great news is, anyone can be a connector. However ways have changed; St. Paul, Franklin Roosevelt, Lois Weisberg and con- temporary connectors don’t operate identically to be introduced to everyone, to stay connected with people. If early connectors were mostly meeting people, sending let- ters and traveling; future generations were using phone calls and faxes and now use methods like emailing, surfing, Skyping, etc. Despite that, all connectors naturally have a public life. They participate and sit in meetings and conferences to be introduced to their immediate peers and other con- nectors; which is a much more powerful than just using e-mail, phone calls or one- on-one appointments. “Social Networking on the Web is good, but don’t forget real networking.”10 said Jacques Froissant, a main French headhunter for Internet, Web 2.0 companies. In this first part, we see that networking is not only a trendy activity but stories of people and their symbols of power. In the next part we are going to speak about the environment, the different categories of social networks and their possible advan- tages within our companies. 9 Henderson, Robyn, Understanding Influence for Leaders at All Levels (2005). 10 Froissant, Jacques, Les Réseaux Sociaux Sur Internet C'est Bien, Mais N'oubliez Pas Le Réseautage Réel !, 2009, Available:éseaux-sociaux-sur-internet-cest-bien-mai s-noubliez-pas-le-réseautage-réel.html. Social Networking Management 10/50
  11. 11. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 2. A Multitude of Online Social Networks 2.1. A B O O M I N G E N V I R O N M E N T As we just saw in the first part, networking is an ancestral activity. But, what about its presence on the Web, what about its development in Cyberspace, what about its cur- rent environment? Even if we can attribute, the Web’s birth to the beginning of the 90’s 11, the first online networking tools emerged at the end of this decade; with websites like (1995) and Six Degrees of Separation (1997). At this time the Web was becoming more and more collaborative: wikis 12 were increasingly adopted in en- terprises and blogs were gaining in popularity with the launch of open blogging tools like:, and Yet, the growth of networking tools, really sped up with the development of Web 2.0 13 and the launching of famous websites like: Friendster (2002), MySpace (2003), Orkut (2004) and Facebook (2004). Their frequentation exploded afterwards. • In 2005, according to the Alexa Global Traffic Ranking, the following Web 1.0 destinations were highly visited: ALEXA TOP 10 IN 2005 1 Yahoo! 6 Microsoft 2 MSN 7 MySpace 3 Google 8 Google (UK) 4 eBay 9 AOL 5 Amazon 10 11Connolly, Dan, A Little History of the World Wide Web, 2000, Available: 12From the New Oxford American Dictionary a wiki is a Web site that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by its users. ORIGIN coined by programmer Ward Cunningham in 1994, from Ha- waiian wiki-wiki “quick-quick”. 13“The term “Web 2.0” was coined in the aftermath of the dot-com meltdown in 2001 when disillusion- ment about high-tech tulip-mania was pervasive. In Silicon Valley, there was a widespread sense of defeat after the irrational exuberance of “Web 1.0” ended in meltdown. The Web had to be reinvented. Fortui- tously, search engines like Google were emerging, phoenix-like, from the ashes of Web 1.0 and transforming the Internet into a networked platform. No longer a “push” medium to post information, send emails and sell books, the Web was being radically transformed into a dynamic network harnessing creativity and col- lective intelligence.” Fraser, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom p2. Social Networking Management 11/50
  12. 12. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE • Now, famous social networks are present in Alexa’s Top 10: Youtube is at the third position, Facebook in fifth and MySpace in ninth.14 To see the growth of social networks, it is also very interesting to see the booming evolution of Google search volumes 15: 6000 4500 Search Volume Index 3000 1500 0 Jan 4 2004 Apr 24 2005 Aug 13 2006 Dec 2 2007 Mar 22 2009 tsunami myspace facebook Even if social networking has to develop viable revenue models, it is now a full indus- try and according to Oxford University lectures: Tomi T. Ahonen and Alan Moore so- cial networking was, already, a 6.5-billion dollar industry in 200716. 14Ranking, Alexa Global Traffic, 2009, Available: 15Google Trends shows how often a particular search term is entered relative the total search volume. The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time, and the vertical is how often a term is searched for rela- tive to the total number of searches. 16 Moore, Tomi T. Ahonen & Alan, Communities Dominate Brands (2007). Social Networking Management 12/50
  13. 13. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE With a total of more than 200 million users in 2008 17, social networks are now a part of our everyday life as Anu Kohtamäki18 said during my interview 19: “Social network- ing is now a full time activity during business and private time for both purposes”. Part of our everyday life, networking is not a dead-end and analysts are unanimous on this point: • “Social network usage is not tapering off—it is growing” and “Not only are more consumers joining social networks, but their level of involvement is deepening.” said Ms. Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst20 ; • “During the past year, social networking has really taken off globally.” and “Lit- erally hundreds of millions of people around the world are visiting social net- working sites each month and many are doing so on a daily basis. It would appear that social networking is not a fad but rather an activity that is being woven into the very fabric of the global Internet.” said Bob Ivins, executive vice president of international markets at comScore Europe21; • According to eMarketer, by 2013, an estimated 52% of Internet users will be regular social network visitors; • However, the next big trend for social networking is the rise of the mobile so- cial network. A new study by InStat predicts that by 2012, there will be nearly 30 million users in the U.S. who use a mobile social network of some sort, and a ComputerWorld report confirms that number will soar to 975 million by 2012, worldwide.22 17Kazeniac, Andy, Social Networks: Facebook Takes over Top Spot, Twitter Climbs, 02/2009, Available: 18 International Project Manager at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (Finland) 19Interview with Anu Kohtamäki, November 25th 2009 where the main question was: “How do you use social networks in your every day life?” 20 Williamson, Aho, Social Networks: Five Consumer Trends for 2009 (eMarketer, 2009). 21Ivins, Bob, Social Networking Goes Global, 2007, Available: 22Perez, Sarah, Mobile Social Web: 975 Million Users by 2012, 06/2008, Available: Social Networking Management 13/50
  14. 14. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE Growth in all industries is interesting, but what about the growth of social networks in our companies? • According to a Forrester Research report, “Enterprise 2.0 23 will become a $4.6 billion industry by 2013 and social networking tools will garner the bulk of the money.”24 • “Large enterprise vendors will continue to develop Enterprise 2.0 solutions to cross-sell to existing accounts and leading ‘pure-play’ Enterprise 2.0 vendors will continue to grow their customer base. Spending in existing markets such as Knowledge Management, Intranets and Collaboration will also begin to overlap with Enterprise 2.0”25 As the Web 2.0 is now taking over the workplace, social networking generations are now set in their ways, so they aren’t able to work with old tools; even Microsoft Out- look is too hard and there is not enough powerful application for our young working generation said Philippe Dewost26 during my interview. Supported by Laurent Pan- tanacce, Account Manager at blueKiwi said: “Enterprise need the best of Web 2.0 tools”. And also approved by a famous market research company, quote above: “The key hallmark of Web 2.0 is efficiency for end users, and the ultimate goal is to use technology like Ajax, rich Internet applications, blogs, wikis, and social networks to fos- ter productive, advantageous behavior among employees, customers, partners, and other networks such as Social Computing, the Information Workplace, and collective intelligence.”27 As we saw the industry is booming which brings numerous of possible solutions on the market. We will, in the next part, categorize the different existing solutions. 23 Enterprise 2.0 is very synthetically the Web 2.0 for business. More information in the 3rd part. 24 Young, G. Oliver, Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 to 2013 (Forrester Research, 2008). 25Oxley, Simon, How Big Is the Enterprise 2.0 Pie?, 2007, Available: 26Former co-founder of Wanadoo, Former deputy GM and VP Marketing at Realeyes3D and CEO at imsense Ltd. 27 Young, Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 to 2013. Social Networking Management 14/50
  15. 15. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 2.2. S O C I A L N E T W O R K S M A C R O - S E G M E N T A T I O N Before detailing the different opportunities of social networking within our companies let’s categorize the different types of social networks. The first important distinction is between open and close networks: • Open-door social websites are generally mass-market, and so naturally, the most well-known. Needless to say, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc. are part of it. Even if they have some specialties, everyone can freely register, build and maintain relationships on it, not to mention sharing information. “Open networks are the way the world works” 28 • Closed networks are generally much more restricted to social or professional status. A few can be named: A Small World for the rich jet setters, Beauti- fulPeople advertises itself as “the most exclusive little black book in the world”; Sermo, monetizes its members, charging from $100,000 to $150,000 a year to non-medical businesses; CarbonNYC attract the Big Apple’s jet-set plutocracy with average annual incomes of $1 million. That's not all, and that's not the half of it! Some closed websites are, in general, uninteresting for the average person. However, a closed network principle may be exploited for an intracompany system which maintains better data security. Secondly, according to Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta, social networking sites can also be put into five broad categories: egocentric, community-based, opportunis- tic, passion-centric and media-sharing. • First egocentric networks. These are massively popular “profile” sites like MySpace and Facebook that serve as platforms for “friends” networks where 28 Fraser, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom. Social Networking Management 15/50
  16. 16. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE members “poke” 29 and “throw sheep”30 at others in their online social net- works. They also serve as virtual platforms for identity construction - fre- quently, and as we shall see, the fabrication and management of multiple identities. Egocentric networks are also platforms for personal creativity and artistic expression - songs, videos, photos and so on. • Second, community networks, These sites aggregate members with strong identity linkages based on nation, race, religion, class, sexual orientation and so on. They generally replicate communities that already exist in the real world. The feeling of belonging on these sites are deeply embedded. A good example is the BlackPlanet site for African-Americans. Online neighborhood sites furnish an example of micro-community social networks. • Third, opportunistic networks. These are socially organized sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo, whose members join for rational reasons such as business con- nections. They can also include vertically defined professional sites, such as Sermo for American doctors and sites for stockbrokers. • Fourth, passion-centric network. These sites bring together people who share the same interests and hobbies. Also called “communities of interest”, mem- bership to these sites is horizontally defined according to “passions” (dogs, cats, cars, movies, etc.) Dogster and CarDomain are good examples of passion-centric sites. • Finally, media-sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr are defined not by their membership, but rather by their content. YouTube attracts people who share videos, while Flickr aggregates users who post photographs. People flock to these sites primarily to access content created by others. 29The poke feature allows one user to virtually poke another. Some users believe that the poke feature is some sort of Facebook foreplay. However, according to Facebook's FAQ section on the feature, "a poke is a way to interact with your friends on Facebook. When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we en- courage you to come up with your own meanings." Throw a sheep at your friends on Facebook is a method of getting someone's attention on the popular 30 website Facebook. Social Networking Management 16/50
  17. 17. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE We saw in this part different social networking tools and their categories. Now, we can affirm that there are social websites for absolutely everyone. In the next part we will describe the different data we can found on most of them. 2.3. S T A N D A R D I Z A T I O N OF TYPES OF I N F O R M AT I O N There does exist a multitude of specific websites and separate networks. All are dif- ferent but all can be put, more or less, in one of the five categories mentioned in the previous part. Judging by appearances, all websites are different, even within a cate- gory. However, after a closer inspection, it is interesting to point out that all have, from one category to another, similar type of information. With Philippe Dewost’s help, I differentiated five types of information, more or less, used on every social networking websites: • Status. Every day, in reply to: “What are you doing?” (Twitter); “What are you working on?” (LinkedIn); “What's on your mind?” (Facebook); “What are you doing right now?” (DarQroom 31) millions of people “update” their social status. Social-status updating has become a micro-sociological obsession. Many so- cial networkers update their social status every hour, some every fifteen min- utes. In most instances, this is a very trendy activity that allows networked “friends” know what they’re up to: “Catty is going to the gym, back home at 6.” Important part of our socialization information are often for better or for worse! Philippe Dewost have suggested and spread a formula to describe people who update their status without being ready to follow the conversation that it might trigger: «Autistic Megaphones in the Dark». That is especially true from bloggers whose content is not good enough, and who try to attract more audi- ence by twittering or facebooking shortened links to their blog. Even if there are thousands great short stories which helped people find a job, have a beer, share information, etc. There are also hundreds of examples of the need to be careful when you post on Twitter, and more generally on any 31DarQroom is, among others, a community of various photography talents and serious photo enthusiasts. Gradable in media-sharing and passion-centric network categories, DarQroom is a new (March 2009) and growing community equivalent to Flickr specialize in pro quality photography services, whether online or in print. Social Networking Management 17/50
  18. 18. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE social media platform. Like the following story: A lucky job applicant tweeted the following: “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded: “Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.” Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record. (Carpenter) • Friends. The whole networking concept revolves around this list of people, friends, connections… whatever you call them 32. Adding contacts helps you to build one or several trusty circles for your private and business life. All your published information will be freely shared with your networking friends, from status updates, favorite things to private and busi- ness updates. Sometimes, depending on the platform, collecting the largest number of friends, became a race. From CEOs to teenagers, a regular question about networking is: “How many friends do you have?” The new trend is for people who make stereotypes: “Under one hundred, you are a newbie! Over four hundred, you are an addict!” Other people create rules: “I don’t accept people with more than three hundred friends, because they are living for that and I’m not interesting in that!” In fact, the number of friends has become a socializa- tion criterion where The Strength of Weak Ties33 took on a new dimension. It is also interesting to underline that depending on the network, friends can have a different nature: on Facebook you can add every person you meet; on Flickr you can had all relation with photographic talents; on Twitter all people you want to follow for a technological watch cell, on LinkedIn all your business 32Nowadays there is not a clear word to define networking friends. However on a discussion is on the way. 33Mark Granovetter is an American sociologist. His most famous work, The Strength of Weak Ties, is consid- ered to be one of the most influential sociology papers ever written. Social Networking Management 18/50
  19. 19. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE relations. Depending of the platform and how you use it, you can organized different circles for private and professional use. But unfortunately, not all plat- forms offer you a differentiated way of displaying your profile for your various business and private networks. • Info. Networks are generally specialized in the promotion of one sort of infor- mation: curriculum vitae, photos, written stories or even bookmarks. After the publication of this information, they are sometimes shared with your network, depending on privacy parameters established on the World Wide Web. All these data describe our personality and build our e-reputation, generally called “personal branding”. We will see in the next page, different sources for this information. • Groups. Everyone want to share their activities and passions with people in the same companies, with same hobbies, etc. Networking groups allow you to share and discuss about specific subjects. • Engagement. Certain websites allow you to create events and organize meet- ings. For that you need to engage yourself. Like an event calendar, people can invite others, see who is coming, communicate with participants, share pictures and schedule… I may also add, in addition, the Mail function. It allows members to send private mes- sages without knowing email addresses. Even if messages are frequently, forwarded to your personal email address, you have to log into the websites to answer them. It’s in some ways, a mail box duplication. All this information, “represent[s] our identity” 34 and is written in different ways. With the help of Laurent Pantanacce, we can say that this information can be: • Inherited. Information can be inherited from other sources of information. For example an email address is an inherited piece of information; the name of your company can also be put into this category. 34Zuckerberg, Mark, Keynote Speech F8, 2008, Available: Social Networking Management 19/50
  20. 20. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE • Declared. In this case, everyone describes themselves through personal de- scription and articles. Depending on the authors, they can be very modest or totally show-off as the famous French businessman, Jean-Marie Messier, demonstrated. He named himself “J6M”: “Jean-Marie Messier, Moi-Même Maître du Monde”35. Information is mostly of this type, especially on egocen- tric and opportunistic networks. • Endorsed. This important type of information is becoming more and more fre- quent. By voting or commenting on your friend’s content, you help him to be popular, so he can be recognized for his declared information. This is an auto- regulation solution, which helps the whole community bring about out useful information. • Revealed. When information is endorsed by different people, it can be re- vealed to the whole community. Aware that the last two points are not easy to understand, let’s took at two examples: • An important page for the Flickr community is the Explore page36 which “cre- ate[s] a way to show some of the most awesome content on Flickr.” On April 6th 2009, 27 people called Xindaan's photo “a favorite”, and 99 commented on it. Endorsed by an large number of people in a short period of time, Flickr labs’ secret algo- rithm, revealed the photo Misty Water in the Morn- ing to the whole Flickr community a n d t h e Wo r l d Wide Web. 35 Literally translate to English: “Jean-Marie Messier, Myself the World Master” 36 Flickr Explore Page available at Social Networking Management 20/50
  21. 21. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE • Similar reflections can be seen in Delicious 37 Popular Bookmarks. By sharing your favorite websites, articles of-the-moment, Web pages are declared “popular”. In the second part of my thesis, we saw the booming industry of social networks and the very different type of social networks with their similarities and singularities. Eve- ryone can fulfill their needs, but how can they be used in companies? 37Delicious ( is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. It has more than five million users and 150 million bookmarked URLs. Social Networking Management 21/50
  22. 22. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 3. Enterprise 2.0 a First Step 3.1. D E F I N I T I O N S AND BENEFITS Collaborative tools mentioned in the previous parts generally seem to be dedicated to students and their private life. Everywhere, people are getting the message: “Face- book, may be great for your social life, but it can hurt your career.”38 Nevertheless, according to Andrew McAfee (Associate Professor of Business Administration at Har- vard Business School), who studies the ways that information technology affects businesses and business as a whole, defined the concept of Enterprise 2.0: “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers. Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities. Platforms are digital environments in which contributions and interactions are globally visible and persistent over time. Emergent means that the software is freeform, and that it contains mechanisms to let the patterns and structure inherent in people’s interactions become visible over time. Freeform means that the software is most or all of the following: • Optional • Free of up-front workflow • Egalitarian, or indifferent to formal organizational identities • Accepting of many types of data” 39 Therefore, social networks and business aren’t mutually exclusive, and managers can exploit social networks, wikis, blogs, tags, collaborative filtering, digital brain- storms, telepresence and other tools of what Anthony Williams calls “the wiki work- place”40. Also, according to Nina Cook, Enterprise 2.0 enable: “A powerful new approach to collaboration that cut across organizational silos and un- leashed the power of human capital. Loosening hierarchies and giving more power to employees can lead to faster innovation, lower cost structures, greater agility, improved 38 Fraser, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom p9. 39 McAfee, Andrew, Enterprise 2.0, Version 2.0, 2006, Available: 40 Williamson, Social Networks: Five Consumer Trends for 2009. Social Networking Management 22/50
  23. 23. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE responsiveness to customers and more authenticity and respect in the marketplace. The nature of work is changing.”41 “Great utopia!” may say multinationals’ chief information officers! But in fact not any more, because: • Enterprise 2.0 is spreading and is no longer restricted to startups and Web 2.0 evangelists. • “Some forward-looking CEOs are already tuning out the paranoia and focusing on the business case for social media.”42 • “Some companies are turning their backs on enterprise software altogether. For example: Serena Software moved their corporate intranet to Facebook for all 800 employees.”43 • There is now, numerous companies selling Web 2.0 software tools to facilitate social networking in organiza- Enterprise 2.0 tions: Contact Networks, Leverage Software, Select- Conference Sponsors 2009 Minds, SAP’s Enterprise Portal and Oracle’s Visible Path. • The Enterprise 2.0 conference’s 44 sponsors represent the most important IT group. Enterprise 2.0 is spreading but what are its benefits? According to the Enterprise 2.0 portal45, this new way is already demonstrating real business value for many organizations. It has opened up new methods for communi- 41 Cook, Niall, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work (Gower, 2008) p14. 42 Fraser, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom p19. 43 Oxley, How Big Is the Enterprise 2.0 Pie? 44Enterprise 2.0 Conference is the one place where business and IT professionals looking to leverage 2.0 technologies and culture can learn from real enterprise case-studies, get a glimpse of the future from thought leaders, demo the leading solutions and benefit from each other's experiences to help their organi- zations survive - even thrive - in today's marketplace., Benefits of Enterprise 2.0, Available: Social Networking Management 23/50
  24. 24. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE cation and conversations, and has transformed the way that companies share and access information. This portal underlines the following benefits: • Openness encourages participation: The Enterprise 2.0 approach pro- motes open communications that encourage respect and participation, even across geographic and cultural boundaries. • Greater knowledge capture and sharing: Unlike information locked-up in email and discrete documents, this centrally captured knowledge is easier to find and use when people actually need it. It is more likely to be up to date, and it can be fully searched by all who have access. • Recruit and keep talented employees: High caliber people are attracted to companies using cutting edge technology. This is particularly true for “Genera- tion Y” (today’s 18–25 year olds) who already use these technologies in their everyday lives and expect to be able to use them in the workplace too. • Greater efficiency and less duplication: Enterprise 2.0 enables a diverse, distributed workforce to work together efficiently on projects. Information is more accessible, and subject-matter-experts can be found quickly. This pre- vents wasted effort and saves time, leading to greater efficiency and improved productivity. However it is a going to take some time as Philip Lay admits: "Enterprise 2.0 —or, if you prefer, the concept of the real-time, inter-personal, proac- tive, truly customer-focused enterprise enabled by the best services-based software technologies available today— … will take a decade or so for the changes in business models and operating approaches to take shape."46 Time is needed because Enterprise 2.0 is not only a matter of new tools, it is a new way of working, a new philosophy for sharing information. For example, new software can be setup in few days, a few months or even few years for the biggest systems 46Lay, Philip, Enterprise 2.0: Ready for Prime Time, or Not Yet?, 2006, Available: Social Networking Management 24/50
  25. 25. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE like ERP47. But Enterprise 2.0 changes might take more time, because the philoso- phy of using and sharing information is changing. Miguel Membrado, entrepreneur in the Internet field, suggests a circular model 48 for adopting social software in companies: For decades, information in our companies has been centered on documents. We live in a time and a civilization which are codified. We are surrounded by all sorts of written material: documents, degrees, etc. We all have hundreds of Microsoft Word files, where apparently, all our knowledge is stored. When we leave a job, we are asked to write everything down —what we did, what we know— in order to transmit knowledge. Our directors will give it back to new employees who will, normally, be able to do everything as we did. Of course it worked, but is it a perfect solution? Now, as everything is going faster, this written period of our civilization is changing. We are entering in a more interactive period where the philosophy of information is based more on conversation and less on formal written documents. Times are chang- ing, as we said, information is going faster and everything needs to be more reactive. 47ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is an industry term for the broad set of activities that helps a busi- ness manage the important parts of its business. ERP software applications can be used to manage product planning, parts purchasing, inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, and tracking orders. ERP can also include application modules for the finance and human resources aspects of a busi- ness. The deployment of an ERP system can involve considerable business process analysis, employee re- training, and new work procedures. 48 Membrado, Miguel, "Wikis at the Heart of New Collaborative Usages," (2009). Social Networking Management 25/50
  26. 26. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE Old tools like Microsoft Word aren’t modular enough, even “old” emailing software as Microsoft Outlook is too difficult to exchange information quickly as we do nowadays. For example, when you receive an email, you absolutely need it’s parents and it’s sibling (previous and followings messages) to understand the ins and outs of infor- mation. An answer isn’t interesting at all without the question so a layout like Gmail does seem to be far easier to handle. To make a side comment in passing, E-mail still has a very big advantage over other forms of communication for archival and retrieval reasons. In that sense, it can be viewed as an individual or collective memory extension as opposed to the multiplica- tion of sideways messaging/conversation tools such as Facebook, Instant Messag- ing, Twitter but also SMSs which make it much more difficult to search a retrieve con- versation. In addition to the debate over defining and finding the benefits of Enterprise 2.0, McAfee and Dion Hinchcliffe have attempted to create classification models for it. The two most widely known are the SLATES and FLATNESSES mnemonics, which are very useful in understanding some of the key characteristics of Enterprise 2.0. • SLATES (search, links, authoring, tags, extensions and signals) McAfee49 defined a six-component model which provides a framework based on the use of social software in a business context and an essential component of Enter- prise 2.0: ‣ Search: Knowledge workers must be able to find what they are looking for, not only through the use of page layout and navigation but more im- portantly by using keywords. In a survey by Forrester Research 50, only 44 per cent of respondents said that it was easy to find what they were looking for on their intranet. ‣ Links: Links provide guidance to knowledge workers about what is valu- able and are one of the key indicators that search engines use to assess the importance of content in order to deliver accurate and relevant re- sults. On the Internet this works well, but on most intranets linking is of- 49 McAfee, Andrew, "Enterprise 2.0:The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration," MIT, 2006, p21. 50 Morris, Meredith, How Do Users Feel About Technology (Forrester Research, Inc. , 2005). Social Networking Management 26/50
  27. 27. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE ten restricted to a relatively small group of knowledge managers or edi- tors. By giving the entire company the ability to create links, the value of search increases. ‣ Authoring: People have a desire to author, whether it be original thought, experience, a comment, a link and so on. When knowledge workers are given the tools to author information, the intranet changes from being created by a few to become a living body of linked, collective knowledge. ‣ Tags: The same Forrester Research survey showed that what knowl- edge workers wanted most, after better search results, was better cate- gorization of content. Information architects often painstakingly create these taxonomies in an attempt to organize information by meaning; but by allowing employees to attach tags (one-word keywords) to the infor- mation they create and find valuable, folksonomies emerge based on ac- tual practice. ‣ Extensions (or extrapolation): The use of tags – combined with authoring and linking – allows knowledge systems to identify patterns and use these as extensions to information and relationships. For example, if 50 employees assign the same tag to different pieces of information, not only can that tag serve as a method of linking, but also as a method of valuing those contributions. These tags can extrapolate meaning and imply relationships across different departments and time zones, even when those people have never worked together before. ‣ Signals: In the age of information overload, you may be thinking that by allowing knowledge workers to create even more information, links and tags, the problem of information overload will quickly be exacerbated. That’s where signals come in, alerting users when new information of interest is created. Whilst these can be email alerts, technologies such as really simple syndication (RSS) allow employees to consume informa- tion in a much more efficient and controlled manner. Social Networking Management 27/50
  28. 28. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE • FLATNESSES In October 2007, Dion Hinchcliffe51 augmented the SLATES components using the longer acronym of FLATNESSES (freeform, links, authorship, tagging, network- oriented, extensions, search, social, emergence and signals), having identified seven lessons learned from watching Enterprise 2.0 in action: 1. Enterprise 2.0 is going to happen in your organization whether you like it or not; 2. effective Enterprise 2.0 seems to involve more than just blogs and wikis; 3. Enterprise 2.0 is more a state of mind than a product you can purchase; 4. most businesses still need to educate their workers on the techniques and best practices of Enterprise 2.0 and social media; 5. the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 can be dramatic, but only build steadily over time; 6. Enterprise 2.0 doesn’t seem to put older IT systems out of business; 7. your organization will begin to change in new ways because of Enterprise 2.0. Be ready. Times are changing, I’m not going to argue that is a good thing or not, but we have to follow and to improve it the best we can. Of course the new hurly-burly is disturbing but creating new jobs like those in the knowledge manager 52 domain is far better. Now that we have a better idea of Enterprise 2.0, let’s overview the best usage in our companies and what we get out of it. 51 Hinchcliffe, Dion, The State of Enterprise 2.0, 2007, Available: 52Knowledge Management (KM) comprises a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences com- prise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organizational processes or practice. Many large companies and non-profit organizations have resources dedicated to internal KM efforts, often as a part of their “Business Strategy”, “Information Technology”, or “Human Resource Management” depart- ments. Social Networking Management 28/50
  29. 29. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 3.2. A C T I O N S , T O O L S AND USEFULNESS We saw “Social Networks”, but how can collaborative software and Enterprise 2.0 be use in our companies? The different categories mentioned above are very interesting but for the purposes of categorizing social software, I suggest a more simple classification model by Niall Cook: the 4Cs approach, which is focused on the action involved rather than compo- nents or characteristics. • Communication: communication platforms are those that allow people to converse with others, either by text, image, voice or video, or a combination of these. • Cooperation: sharing software enables people to share content with others in structured and unstructured ways. • Collaboration: collaboration tools encourage people to collaborate with each other on particular problems, directly and indirectly in both central and distrib- uted ways. • Connection: networking technologies make it possible for people to make connections with and between both content and other people. There is clearly some overlap between these categories, most notably in the case of cooperation and collaboration but also according to Niall Cook: “Cooperation focuses on helping individuals work towards a common product where the knowledge gained from the process is not the goal, whereas collaboration is fo- cused on the knowledge gained from the process of constructing something. Even so, both share the objective of enabling a group of individuals to produce something better than that which they could have produced alone.” 53 Even if there is some overlap, it is important to understand the differences between cooperation and collaboration. P. Dillenbourg54 made a clear distinction in the follow- ing table: 53 Cook, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work p37. 54P. Dillenbourg, M. Baker, A. Blaye and C. O’Malley, "The Evolution of Research on Collaborative Learn- ing," Oxford, 1995. Social Networking Management 29/50
  30. 30. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE C O O P E R AT I O N C O L L A B O R AT I O N • Division of labour, each person re- • Mutual engagement of participants sponsible for portion of work in a coordinated effort to solve a • Task is split into independent, sub- problem tasks • Cognitive processes divided into • Coordination only required when as- intertwined layers sembling partial results • Shared commitment and goals • Short term • Long term • Informal • Risks and rewards are shared • No jointly defined goals • Collaborative structure determines • Individuals retain authority authority • Information shared as needed In a world which is less and less formal, Cook also very clearly describes the 4Cs approach’s different rules of formality: “In the context of social software, col- laboration and connection require more formality than communications and co- operation, mainly because they depend on people to do things in a relatively structured manner. Likewise, collabora- tion and cooperation often require a higher level of interaction than connec- tion and communication, because of the inherent focus on groups rather than individuals.”55 The 4Cs formality/interaction matrix Now that we have a better idea of Enterprise 2.0, lets overview the different tools we can use in light of these four actions. 55 Cook, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work p37. Social Networking Management 30/50
  31. 31. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 3.2.1. C O M M U N I C A T I O N In any organization, communication is critical and therefore a fundamental social process, not to mention a basic human and organizational need. There are different types of communication flow in organizations, including formal, downward, upward, horizontal and networked. The most relevant communication type to the application of social software is informal. In his article Informal Social Communication 56, Leon Festinger summarized the three motivators behind informal communication: 1. people need to share with each other and agree on important opinions and attitudes in order to feel that they belong together in the group; 2. people need to share with superiors and others their hopes and ambitions in satisfaction of needs of achievement, affiliation and power; 3. people need to express emotions such as joy, anger, hostility and the like as a means of “blowing off steam”. Informal communication has been defined for fifty years. However, the intranet has always been a formal tool for downward communication containing procedures, guidelines and impersonal news. With the following tools, the objective of Web 2.0 is to bypass this problem. • Discussion forums Discussion forums allow employees to initiate, review and contribute to discussions with others. These discussions might consist of questions, opinions or responses to an event. Known as “thread” each with an original topic, responses are generally posted one after another in a linear fashion. As the first foray into the world of social software, internal discussion forums are generally familiar to most organizations. They are really used as transversal commu- nication software for brainstorming, quick information sharing and problem solving. • Blogs Blogs, short for weblogs, blogs are the online equivalent of journals. The author posts messages periodically, usually encouraging and allowing readers to comment. 56 Festinger, Leon, "Informal Social Communication," Psychological Review (1950). Social Networking Management 31/50
  32. 32. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE In companies, blogs are frequently used by individuals to communicate downward information to the whole organization through project teams to keep people up to date with their progress. Even if they are less structured than forums, they are generally a rich source of intel- lectual capital. • Instant Messaging Instant messaging allows one person to communicate with another (or with groups) over the Internet or an internal network in real time. Normally text-based, instant messaging is increasingly being used with other media like voice and video. According to Niall Cook: “By providing direct access to other people, companies have created live knowledge bases of information and reference.” 57 One of the benefits to businesses is the ability for each staff member to have multiple “conversations” taking place at the same time. This is a very useful feature for call centers. • Social Presence In the corporate environment, social presence is still known as dangerous. But new micro- blogging platforms and geolocalization might make the difference. Social presence can be a powerful and simple way for organizations to keep in touch with their employees, customers, etc. By subscribing to information from departments and individual channels, staff can be in control of the infor- Google Latitude is a location-aware mobile app developed by Google. Latitude allows a mobile mation no matter where they are. phone user to allow certain other people on his or her Gmail contact list to track where he or she is. It can also be interesting for knowledge man- agement purposes. By subscribing to keywords (the name of a customer, for in- stance), an employee could be alerted whenever anyone in their organization men- 57 Cook, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work p49. Social Networking Management 32/50
  33. 33. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE tions that company. It is by being on the Web that you will manage your reputation and image. 3.2.2. C O O P E R A T I O N With cooperation, social software is primarily used to support an informal working en- vironment where there are no pre-defined goals. Each contributor retains authority over their contribution, and the software just assembles and organizes data in order to show the combined picture. Cooperative social software almost always relies on a network effect58 to deliver maximum value to organizations and individuals. The following tools bring many benefits to the community: • Media Sharing Sharing photographs and videos is possibly one of the most popular uses of social software. The real power of media sharing comes when those files are embedded into other – usually web-based – applications. In companies, sharing images may be a little unlikely. However, video sharing has great potential for e-learning. Furthermore, sharing is not limited to images and vid- eos; any kind of file can be shared, including presentations and documents. In fact, Google has already announced plans to offer YouTube’s video-sharing capa- bilities to companies. Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of busi- ness accounts at Google, told “Our intention is to bring as much of Google's technology to the enterprise suite as possible and using video to share information inside a business is an obvious need.” 59 Of course, we can already share documents on our intranet, but with social media sharing everyone can create, publish and share. In addition, people are also able to 58A network effect (also called network externality) is the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people. Network effects were more recently popularized by Robert Met- calfe, the founder of Ethernet. In selling the product, Metcalfe argued that customers needed Ethernet cards to grow above a certain critical mass if they were to reap the benefits of their network. 59Girouard, Dave, Video Sharing Can Work for Business, 2007, Available:,39024667,39168888,00.htm. Social Networking Management 33/50
  34. 34. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE organize, comment, tag and rate contributions, which clearly extends the value of any document and allows for a more precise search. • Social bookmarking The concept of bookmarking web pages has been well known ever since the first web browsers. However, the bookmarking functions within today’s browsers are still quite primitive and restricted to a private set of bookmarks associated with one browser on one PC. Social bookmarking services allow people to post useful or interesting links for their own private reference, or to share them with others. In many cases they also employ folksonomies 60 to organize them. In business, social bookmarking has been used as a part of knowledge management or collective intelligence strategies. But it also brings the ability to visualize the con- nections between employees and topics which enables people to locate expertise groups within an organization. 3.2.3. C O L L A B O R A T I O N As we said, collaborative social software supports the engagement of participants in a coordinated effort to solve a problem, with shared commitment and goals. As all collaboration is social and involves mutual engagement, social software in business is often referred to just collaborative software. • Wikis & Documents A wiki is a website pages which can be collaboratively edited by anyone, depending of their level of access. Wikis are mostly used in organizations for live information that constantly changes (e.g., documentation). In addition, some companies are beginning to use wiki tech- nology for their entire intranets. The main benefit of a wiki is the ability to edit collaboratively in real time rather than publish final versions of content. For this reason, wikis can become very effective when integrated with existing intranets or document management systems. 60 Folksonomies: collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging. Social Networking Management 34/50
  35. 35. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE This principle can also be extended to text document, presentation and spread- sheets. In this case, Wikis are also the perfect tool for collaborative creation. One can email drafts to multiple recipients and collate comments and changes. Online collaboration isn’t very easy to setup. At the Online Community Unconference, Jim Cashel identified the following success factors 61 : 1. Wikis work well for groups that already know each other. 2. Wikis work well for co-assembly in addition to co-editing. Projects requiring different individuals to contribute different pieces of a whole lend themselves well to wikis. Aggressive co-editing of content is harder to effect. 3. Wikis work well when a clear nucleus is provided. Users are more likely to edit than create, so providing an instructive starting framework offering ex- amples (and even stubs, encouraging people to edit from there) is helpful. 4. Wikis work well with a clear final product in mind. If you are building a user manual, a notes archive, or a conference website, having a well-defined final product is very helpful. 5. Wikis work well in documenting consensus rather than opinions. If you seek an archive of opinions tied to authorship, discussion forums are more effec- tive. 6. Wikis work well with short deadlines, as they are easy to set up and build upon. To finish, I want to quote Tapscott and Williams 62: “A wiki is more than just software for enabling multiple people to edit web sites. It is a metaphor for a new era of collaboration and participation”. 61Cashel, Jim, When to Use a Wiki?, 2007, Online Community Report, Available: 62Williams, Don Tapscott and Anthony D., Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (Portfolio, 2006) p18. Social Networking Management 35/50
  36. 36. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 3.2.4. C O N N E C T I O N Cooperation and collaboration systems depend on direct interaction between people and connection tools rely on connecting employees with content. • Social networking Social network services enable people to connect online based on shared interests, hobbies, or common causes. But we have already addressed this issue in a previous part63 . According to Niall Cook: “Social networking inside an enterprise is particularly valuable when the organization rewards individual effort but needs to encourage knowledge sharing and connection with others – perhaps across geographical or functional boundaries – or with a particu- larly young workforce primarily motivated by social connections rather than profes- sional ones. As a result, internal applications of social networking that mix both per- sonal and professional interests are highly likely to succeed.” 64 McAfee also underlines another social networking advantage: “The implication for social networking sites is obvious: Facebook and its peers should be highly valuable for business because they’re tools for increasing the density of weak ties within a company, as well as outside it. My Facebook friends are a large group of people from diverse background who have very little in common with each other. Fur- thermore, their profile give me a decent way to evaluate their expertise. These online friends, in other words, are a large group of bridges to other networks.” 65 • Tagging Tagging is a technique employed throughout the range of social software tools. Tag- ging is intended to make information increasingly easy to search, discover and navi- gate. Tagging is the cornerstone of creating the user-generated taxonomies (known as folksonomies) that help people connect with content in social software and allow content from disparate sources to be aggregated into one subject-related place. 63 See part “2. A Multitude of Online Social Networks” p11. 64 Cook, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work p71. 65 McAfee, Andrew, The Ties That Find, 2007, Available: Social Networking Management 36/50
  37. 37. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE According to Anne Gilliland-Swetland66, tagging needs to reflect three features: 1. Content: What the information is about. 2. Context: What the information is, in terms of its authorship, time, location, type, etc. 3. Structure: What the information is related to, intrinsically or extrinsically. I believe the full benefits for the enterprise will come true when taxonomy/folksonomy are merged. • Workflow, Mashups & Syndication This concerns connections and all social applications needed to communicate. It not the subject of my thesis, but we need to implement workflow, mashups 67 and syndi- cation technologies with APIs 68, RSS69 , etc. because it generally helps to keep work- ers informed of software development through RSS or email notification. After this short overview of the different categories, one of the main problems has emerged: too many things which confuse everyone. And here it is just a matter of categories... we might find sixty social software tools, unmanageable in public places, right? All of these tools are complementary and always bring new solutions to share, organ- ize information in a company. I’m going to develop these solutions at the end of the next part. 66Gilliland-Swetland, Anne J., Setting the Stage: Defining Metadata (Los Angeles: Getty Information Insti- tute, 1998). 67Mashup: In web development, a mashup is a Web application that combines data or functionality from two or more sources into a single integrated application. The term mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently done by access to open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original rea- son for producing the raw source data. An example of a mashup is the use of cartographic data from Goo- gle Maps to add location information to real estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct Web service that was not originally provided by either source. 68 API: Application Programming Interfaces. RSS: Really Simple Syndication is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated 69 works. Social Networking Management 37/50
  38. 38. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE 3.3. B E N E F I T S ARE IN USE Web 2.0, social networks and Enterprise 2.0 don’t have any more secrets for us. In the previous part, we mentioned each tool with its advantages and disadvantages. But what do they bring to a company as a whole? First of all, I want to underline that Web 2.0 tools totally depend on the network effect we mentioned on page 33. Even if this effect can delay success, it brings a great value to it. Web 2.0 tools revolve around a community and by joining this community of users, one user adds value to that product for the whole community, in turn attract- ing other users and so. Wikipedia is a great example: “The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia benefits from a network effect. The theory goes that as the number of editors grows, the quality of information on the website im- proves, encouraging more users to turn to it as a source of information; some of the new users in turn become editors, continuing the process.”70 Who hasn’t tried to set up a wiki which was abandoned few months late? Web 2.0 depends on a community but it also depends on how you breathe life into it. And this is generally the big problem in our companies when there is no will power for it. To conclude, Web 2.0 doesn’t work alone. They are only tools and tools don’t work without workers to use them. Disadvantages We say it loud and clear, the first main disadvantage of social networking is that it is time-consuming. I’m not going to argue against it because everyone knows that so- cial networking websites take time to build. But isn’t it an investment on your net- work’s map? Social networking websites can be addictive, especially when you are a caretaker and spend your time looking at your connection’s photos, links, etc. But is it the same everywhere? C. Northcote Parkinson defined it fifty years ago: “It is a commonplace 70 Network Effect, Available: Social Networking Management 38/50
  39. 39. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”71 From my point of view, it is the same concerning the time you spend on social net- works. If you have some, you will spend it for the better and for the worst. And it’s your responsibility to manage it for yourself or for your company. An interesting comment has been made at Serena Software, and is now well known: “Serena Software, Inc. is breaking out of the corporate mold by announcing today that its 800 employees around the globe will participate each week in a company-wide pro- gram called ‘Facebook Fridays’, which encourages employees to find fun and personal connections in the workplace. Each Friday, employees are granted one hour of per- sonal time to spend on their Facebook profiles and connect with co-workers, custom- ers, family and friends. This initiative will […] be rolled out in 18 countries where the company has offices.”72 The time consuming problem is especially true when we speak about social presence and instant messaging. Concerning wikis, collaborative documents or even social bookmarking, it’s no longer a problem, because they bring a better and directly measurable improvement to productivity. Another problem with being addicted to social media, is living vicariously through it. By spending twenty hours a day on it, for sharing all your actions and feelings, you don’t get the full advantage of really living them; you are not able to disconnect and concentrate anymore. When you want to live and work properly, sometimes you need to eliminate distractions. “Do I have a new mail?”; “Did I miss something important on Twitter?” are distracting questions. Even if social media is very important nowadays, real life networking is still important. So as we said in the first part, face-to-face meet- ings and after-work parties shouldn’t be dismissed. The third disadvantage is mainly a problem of security. As information goes so fast on the Web, you never know where your post is going to be in a week. And as every- one is googling, this can be for better or for worse. This problem really has to stay 71 Parkinson, C. Northcote, "Parkinson's Law," The Economist (1955). 72Serena, Serena Software Adopts Facebook as Corporate Intranet, 2007, Available: Social Networking Management 39/50
  40. 40. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE present in our minds before we publish or comment on information. Information on the Net is cumulative and cannot be wiped out. As a result, a tremendous effort will be required to educate employees as tools become available in corporations. Finally, the last but perhaps not the least disadvantage of the actual boom is the number of different tools, platforms, websites as well as the obsoleteness of these. One year, a platform is trendy and everyone has to be on it, and the year after you have to change to something else, and so on and so forth. It is a big problem even if it improves, each time; the functionalities provide final users with better ways to work and share information. It’s the same with all the passwords and different applications you have. For compa- nies, this volatility is a wall which provides a first step in this new world. I often hear talk in companies about social networks: “Yes, why not? It seems very nice, but in six months you will have to change and I have neither the money nor the time to use all those trendy tools.” This is a main problem, but from my point of view this is going to improve in the next few years and professional platform are really going to emerge. Today, some already exist and are generally just starting up. However, important tools will emerge and aggregate all social services to make life simpler for compa- nies. Advantages As you might have understood by reading this term paper, I’m totally convinced by social tools in companies which not only improve the way we share and produce knowledge, but also those tools that help us to reduce distance between people, not to mention deadlines. Don Tapscot and Anthony D. Williams underline: “Much like any new technology, collaborative tools should be piloted in order to prove their utility.”73 So, even if I quote another success story about social networking, you will have to try to understand how it brings easier communication and mostly better knowledge management in companies: 73 Williams, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything p2. Social Networking Management 40/50
  41. 41. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE “At Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, a European investment bank, employees started using wikis informally in the IT department to document new software. Soon afterward, wikis began to migrate into the broader workplace environment, where teams saw them as a way to get collaborative projects up and running quickly. When Dresdner Chief Information Officer J.P. Rangaswami learned of the process, he was intrigued by the technology's versatility. The company went ahead with more pilots, and after just six months the traffic on the internal wiki exceeded that of the company's intranet. Lead users have decreased e-mail volume by 75% and cut the company's meeting time in half. Rangaswami says: ‘We recognized that these tools would allow us to col- laborate more effectively than existing technologies.”74 Besides the well known and hackneyed old advantages, the best bonus could be stronger involvement of the employees to improve the processes and take a stronger part in strategic decisions. For example: “At Xerox, the company’s chief technology officer Sophie VanDebroek uses a wiki to collaboratively define the company’s technology strategy. Normally, high-level strategy documents are created in a hierarchical fashion where the boss controls the vision and content. VanDebroek decided to turn everything inside out by opening the process up to all researchers in the R&D group, and expects more robust technology roadmaps and a much stronger competitive strategy section as a result. “We’ll get more content and knowledge in all of our areas of expertise,” she said, “including everything from material science to the latest document services and solutions.”75 With social software everything is possible but old ideas of the company organization structure and responsibilities have to be reworked. Even if wikis can be adopted everywhere, the main departments where social soft- ware can be easily adopted are: Human Resources, Research and development es- pecially for keeping abreast of technological developments and finally, for processing improvement and event organization using social tools a very interesting endeavor, indeed. 74 Williams, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything p253. 75 Williams, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything p254. Social Networking Management 41/50
  42. 42. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE Does there exist a perfect solution? The concept of Enterprise 2.0 isn’t only theoretical, we can also find it on the market in the “social software for business” aisle. I already mentioned BlueKiwi but XWiki and Confluence are also interesting solutions, not to mention SharePoint, WikiMedia and other major actors. There are, in fact, hundreds of solutions, and all are special- ized in: Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication or Connection. At a first sight it isn’t a big problem. It’s always better to take the best in each domain rather than us- ing something which does a bit of each. Of course I do agree with this, but what is the main point of social software in companies? You might say easy communication, collaboration, and also sharing and organizing information. With hindsight, we also need an easy way to search and find quickly and efficiently what we need in this enormous amount of information. From my point of view, it’s in this precise point that social software will be more successful than any other old Intranets. How powerful is a company when in two or three clicks we can organize a meeting with our best specialists, from different departments, on a specific subject. This al- lows being able to group all past experiences from different projects and finding dif- ferent examples of contracts, how-to, etc. to start faster. Reactivity and chances for success will be far ahead of its competitors. To be able to reply to this usual problem, we don’t need to create a brand new model. There already exists very good one and I don’t have enough experience to create an incontrovertible one. We should use Niall’s 4Cs approach76 and McAffee’s SLATES mnemonic77 correctly by re-centering everything on the most important goals: • Firstly, we need to focus on the company’s main asset: people and knowl- edge. • Secondly, all the content should be searchable and linked together, which will add important value to the software. 76 Cook, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work p37. 77 McAfee, "Enterprise 2.0:The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration," p21. Social Networking Management 42/50
  43. 43. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE • Thirdly, content should stay connected to its authors but also to complemen- tary information using tags and signals in its changes with to all its actors to keep them connected to it. In the following image you will see a representative graph78 of this synthetic model: In this graph we can see that the company is centered around people and knowl- edge. The 4C’s approach is set up all around company departments and is linked with the SLATES mnemonic to optimize the information stream. In addition, for internal and secure networks, an open door should be set up. It’s through these doors that popularity will come about, depending on the business model. As everything is getting social, companies should also build communities to be more effective and especially close to its clients, customers and partners. However, public software usage must be very well organized. It doesn’t allowed us- ers to brainstorm freely and to share everything. As we said in the introduction, in- formation is often company’s main battle. Niall Cook also underlines this problem: “By sharing information designed for internal consumption in a public space, employ- ees can unwittingly expose potentially sensitive information to the outside world in the form of URLs and tags. An employee might tag a competitor’s website with the key- word ‘acquisition’, for example. Given that it is not very difficult to trace online identity nowadays, it is not impossible that the competitor could see that tag and work out the company that the contributor works for. It’s an extreme example, but it illustrates some of the dangers involved in using social software designed for mass consumer use to share information intended purely for internal consumption.” 79 78 Bigger graph in annex page 50 79 Cook, Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work. Social Networking Management 43/50
  44. 44. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE Conclusion Everyone has already experimented social networks, and after some time it’s no more than a trial it’s “transforming our life, work and world”.80 Even so, social services started a few years ago for students and Web evangelists and it’s now turning up everywhere, even politicians and business men are tuned in. According to Bertrand Duperrin, who is renewing everything, especially in business organization: “It seems that Enterprise 2.0 is back on track, returning to the very na- ture of enterprise: getting organized to produce more efficiently. Good news.”81 In this thesis, we overviewed the different aspects of social networking from its ad- vantages throughout the centuries, to its use as business tools. With some hindsight, we can summarize the two main points we brought out: • Social networking is not only an online trend: goals have been the same for ages. As we are essentially social creatures, we need to be connected with others. Of course ways are changing especially with Internet use and globali- zation. Social software is coming out to bring the best services to end-users to add value to worldwide communication. But don’t forget face-to-face meetings, conference participation, etc. they will always be the best place to share and connect with the world’s main connectors and also enhance your career. • Enterprises need to collaborate, cooperate, communicate and connect in bet- ter ways. A large range of tools are now available, even if some people think there are too many choices, it brings many possibilities to companies wishing to set up their brand new “2.0 tools”. In spite of that, the market is perhaps not very mature, and fast developments might complicate things to follow for new- comers. But as improves, social software is going to penetrate everything. To illustrate the whole picture of the growth, it would be impossible to see some- one (or some companies) without an online presence as it is impossible to see 80 Matthew Fraser, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom (2008). 81Duperrin, Bertrand, Enterprise 2.0 (Finally) Moves toward Enterprise, 04/2009, Available: Social Networking Management 44/50
  45. 45. Jérôme Coquelin de Lisle ITIN - M2IRT2009 - IBE someone without a mobile phone on the street now. Of course, it seems crazy, but wasn’t it the same debate about mobile phones ten years ago? Naturally it’s difficult to forecast what social networks are going to become in ten or even five years, but according to Jeremiah Owyang82 we are only in the first of the five eras of the Social Web: 1. Era of Social Relationships: People connect to others and share 2. Era of Social Functionality: Social networks become like operating system 3. Era of Social Colonization: Every experience can now be social 4. Era of Social Context: Personalized and accurate content 5. Era of Social Commerce: Communities define future products and services He also predicted that at the end of the year we will be in three of them. So, brands should prepare themselves, to be ready, to be more transparent, to focus on cus- tomer advocates, to connect their CRM to the social web and in the most radical fu- ture, to let the most important information spread to communities where they exist; fish where the fish are. The Web is going to change, especially in light of the semantic web. This develop- ment of the World Wide Web will expand content in a format that can be read and used by automated tools, thus permitting people and machines to find, share and in- tegrate information more easily. The vision is fantastic yet futuristic. The rich fabric of the Web today, with its hundreds of open APIs and even vaster reservoirs of content and raw data now opens the door to new possibilities. Well, the future is quite already here, but we have not yet seen the blossoming of the web 3.0 yet. It is right around the corner, and it is just a matter of seeing emerging web development take place even if with the Beta Firefox extension Ubiquity the door is already open. As an IT specialist and a Web fan having worked on this really interesting subject for years, these innovations are just opening doors; it’s everything through the door that needs to be discovered. 82Owyang, Jeremiah, The Future of the Social Web: In Five Eras, 2009, Available: Social Networking Management 45/50