Is Social Media A Silo?

by Jay Deragon on 06/13/2008

The expression “silos of information” is typically applied to management systems where the focus is inward and information communication is vertical. Critics of silos contend that managers serve as information gatekeepers, making timely coordination and communication among departments difficult to achieve, and seamless interoperability with external parties impractical.

Silos tend to limit productivity in practically all organizations and frustrate consumers who increasingly expect information to be immediately available and complete.

Information silos are becoming far more recognized as the major reason why organizations are unable to take full advantage of the Internet’s power to interconnect business processes.

The vast number of incompatible database applications in use perpetuates the existence of silos, making it impossible for run-the-business software to take full advantage of the Internet.

Are The Silos Coming Down?

In the old world contained communications controlled by the few was the means for shaping a story and influencing an audience. Whether the message is aimed at the world, an institution, an organization or a local community media silos shaped not only the message but the meaning.

The mediums of delivery were print, broadcasting, email and the web. We chose which silo of media best fit our preferred choice influenced by style, context and preferences. Media evolved as did the distribution means and then we were empowered to become the media enabled by advancing web technologies with enriched reach that engaged us like never before.

This new dynamic has caught on fast and daily new discoveries are creating increased power that threatens those whose past paradigms are used to control of silos of influence that reinforced perceived power and position. However the power and influence of the new means of transparent media are mounting daily creating attention, engagement and fueling force fields of change upon old mindsets and institutionalized silos of control.

The force fields of change are increasing in strength and gaining more and more attention from old mindsets motivated again by the desire to control and contain. Evidence of this is demonstrated by the proliferation of businesses jumping into “social media” initiatives aimed again at controlling and shaping the messages. However, the mass of consumers who have been set free by their own ability to create media are rejecting the attempts of the old and reporting it one to one to millions at the click of a mouse.

Businesses will only win when they learn to understand the preferences of the consumer for open and transparent communications. Any attempt to “contain and control” communications will be perceived as anti-social and the subsequent results will begin to impact the bottom line.

Transformation in thinking will be required but it won’t happen until the silos un leaderships mind come down. Social media cannot be contained in silos and any attempt to do so creates a wave of resistance. Freedom of expression is a powerful force of human desire. “Business leaders it is time to take down the walls in order to achieve Socialutions”.

What say you?

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