Social Networking Software

People are more interesting than documents. Make it easy to find and connect with the right people, that have the knowledge needed, to help solve specific problems

Social networking software allows people to keep track of, and communicate with, a large group of acquaintances.

In any organization, formal communications channels are just the highly visible "top of the iceberg". Much cohesion and coordination is created through informal contacts between employees. Highly innovative companies like Apple and Google even design their physical office layout to maximize chance encounters, and leverage the "water cooler effect".

Social networking software allows employees to reach out beyond the small circle of direct team mates. Because it's software based, it does not depend on physical proximity between people to achieve interaction benefits.

Connecting with a much wider circle of weaker contacts drives value creation through:

Personal profiles.
Combining interest profiles with activity updates and contact information, generates the context that is needed to establish rapport: instead of cold-calling somebody you can establish common ground in a shared interest.
Status updates.
Let people know what you're working on, and keep up with what they're working on. This sounds deceptively simple, and it is simple in execution, but it can profoundly impact coordination and cooperation between people.
Perspective.
A wider perspective on "the big picture" of trends and activities across the organization fosters better understanding and integration.
Diversity.
Connections across departmental borders and across functions allow employees to tap into areas of expertise that are highly different from, and complementary to, their own thinking. This generates smarter thinking and more innovative solutions to problems.
Search.
Having access to a large network of potential collaborators makes it easy to find and contact the right person to help with a specific problem.
Broadcast search.
Don't know who can help? Publish your problem to your network and chances are, somebody has been there, done that, and steps in to help you out.