Looking from the Outside In

by Jay Deragon on 10/11/2008

Looking from the Outside inAs we examine the possibilities for business to leverage the medium of social networking we find numerous perspective that are limited to obvious silo opportunities.While there are certainly obvious benefits to use social networking for specific business functions the mediums functionality and feature capabilities have the potential to touch and enhance every business process and all relationships across all segments globally.Businesses are just discovering the systemic nature of the medium and the media continues to drive home the message within business circles. Jennifer LeClaire of TechNewsWorld

writes “The phenomenon of social networking for business purposes is a logical extension of personal networking. After all, businesses are merely people linked by common economic purpose, said Barry Kessel, managing director and chief client development officer at global marketing firm Wunderman.”

“A recent Pew Internet study lends credibility to the concept. Pew researchers report that more people are using the Internet to strengthen social ties that they maintain in the offline world.”

“Increased travel costs and a depressed economy are two factors driving the trend. Time being money, online social networking is also winning favor with time-stretched businesses. It costs less and takes less time to network See the HP StorageWorks All-in-One Storage System. Click here. online than in person, said Scott Allen, co-author of “The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online.”

“As more business happens online, it’s natural that the business dealings that lead up to the transactions would happen more online. We have a generation coming into the workforce now that have grown up with broadband. IM and SMS Latest News about SMS messaging are actually preferred over the phone by many of them,” Allen told TechNewsWorld.

A Productivity Threat or Tool?

Sally Whittle ZDNet.co.uk writes: “So, is social networking simply a productivity threat or can companies learn to live with Facebook and its ilk? “My gut instinct tells me that we’re going to end up with a Facebook for the enterprise, or Facebook in the enterprise,” said David Bradshaw, an analyst with Ovum. “There’s too much at stake for organizations not to start looking at bringing this stuff under their control.”

“For starters, companies are realizing that levels of communication are increasing on social-networking platforms — outside the control of the corporate IT department. In addition, companies have a lot to gain from social networking, according to some experts.”

“There are some pretty obvious benefits to using social-networking applications as a business tool, according to Graham Cluley, senior technical consultant with security firm Sophos. “It’s a great research and recruitment tool,” he said. “You can check people out, see what their career history is like, who they associate with, even what their conduct might be like outside the office.”

“However, Cluley said that the benefits of social networking could be taken a step further. “If you look at Facebook, it’s a platform, and you could easily develop applications to sit on top of that, to do virtually anything around collaboration,” he said. For example, firms might consider creating a messaging application that workers can log onto while on the road, or a quick reference guide for employees that pulls in links as part of news feed.”

“Social networking provides a ready-made knowledge-management platform, said Bradshaw. “In an increasingly competitive world, the most valuable asset companies have is their knowledge, and the one thing this type of platform lets you do is find people with the knowledge you need, and use those skills better in collaboration with other people.”

Looking from the Outside in

For businesses to maximize the opportunity of the medium of social networks they’ll need to gain a perspective from the outside in. What we mean is that thinking tends to be molded over time by ones view of their environment, their business rules and the mental models learned from experience. However, looking from the inside out can sometimes be limited by the paradigms of experience, the lack of outside knowledge and limited vantage points.

As the media reports more and more about innovative uses of social networks for business purposes the old mental models will be pushed from the outside in. The analyst, consultants and market makers will create the new paradigms which eventually will be adopted by businesses globally.

If the phenomenon of social networking for business purposes is a logical extension of personal networking then the collective individuals currently using networks will be those that create the new paradigms….until the next generation expands our thinking even more.

What say you?

{ 6 comments }

vitamin d deficiency symptoms April 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Thanks for this nice collection of comment forms. There are some nice ideas for the next redesign.

Michael Pokocky November 25, 2007 at 10:35 am

***WHEN BIG MONEY GETS BEHIND A STORY***

There is a point I want to make clear from my post above and that is when big money gets behind social networking anything can happen and ones views can become skewed a bit,

I am naturally interested in natural healing and vitamins and yoga and walking. Why? Because I was for years prescribed medication for something. After going through almost every permutation and computation possible for treatments trusting my doctor’s advice I ended up telling him how I got better and am in the best shape of my life and I am happy some days and others not. But that is natural is it not?

You can imagine my surprise when I read in the New York Times Magazine today,
Dr. Drug Rep
By DANIEL CARLAT
“During a year of being paid to give talks to doctors about an antidepressant, a psychiatrist comes to terms with the fact that taking pharmaceutical money can cloud your judgment.”
Here is the link to the story, http://tinyurl.com/yryjd8

Why was I surprised? Because it is my story as victim of Pharma.

How does this relate to this post? Because I believe we are all victims of Web 2.0 et al.

Read it and you will see things that will change the framework from which you look at the Net and how and why you use it by simply taking the findings in this New York Times article and applying it to what you do on the Net. I would gladly do the story for you but only elephants work for peanuts. I did the work and I highly recommend you do the same individually and then think for yourselves.

Citation:
CARLAT, DANIEL. “Dr. Drug Rep.” New York Times Magazine On Line, Published: November 25, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/magazine/25memoir-t.html

Michael Pokocky November 25, 2007 at 10:32 am

***WHEN BIG MONEY GETS BEHIND A STORY***

There is a point I want to make clear from my post above and that is when big money gets behind social networking anything can happen and ones views can become skewed a bit,

I am naturally interested in natural healing and vitamins and yoga and walking. Why? Because I was for years prescribed medication for something. After going through almost every permutaion and computation possible for treatments trusting my doctor’s advice I ended up telling him how I got better and am in the best shape of my life and I am happy some days and others not. But that is natural is it not?

You can imagine my surprise when I read in the New York Times Magazine today,
Dr. Drug Rep
By DANIEL CARLAT
“During a year of being paid to give talks to doctors about an antidepressant, a psychiatrist comes to terms with the fact that taking pharmaceutical money can cloud your judgment.”
Here is the link to the story, http://tinyurl.com/yryjd8

Why was I surprised? Because it is my story as victim of Pahram.

How does this relate to this post? Read it and you will see things that will change the framework from which you look at the Net and how and why you use it by simply taking the findings in this New York Times article and applying it to what you do on the Net. I would gladly do the story for you but only elephants work for peanuts. I did the work and I highly recommend you do the same individually and then think for yourselves.

Citation:
CARLAT, DANIEL. “Dr. Drug Rep.” New York Times Magazine On Line, Published: November 25, 2007 .

John Dierckx November 24, 2007 at 8:11 pm
John Dierckx November 24, 2007 at 8:09 pm

See the full response here: http://johndierckx.terapad.com/index.cfm?
fa=contentNews.newsDetails&newsID=43683&from=list

I am reading all the messages about social networking for business and can but conclude we are in a exciting time. A Renaissance of business and business models being tested by new social media. It is however important to understand, before you start making drastic alterations that Renaissance is a period leading up to Enlightenment. That is the period in which drastic and revolutionary changes will take place.

A recent post by Jay Deragon titled Looking from the outside in is in my view a good example a read worthy post however not for the reasons one might expect. It is in my view an example of where things can go wrong in terms of understanding where we actually are in terms of development and using secondary sources to make your point. An example of mixing up opinion with knowledge.

My point in this post is just outlining that we need to be careful in not mixing up opinions and experiences with actual knowledge and understanding.

I think it was in Sun Tzu the Art of War I once read that the wise general makes a lot of calculations. Social networking may very well open us up for a completely new way of doing business. It is however far to early to make any definite conclusions on where it will all take us. It may still turn out to be a fad. It is in my view important to understand that a revolution is usually a reaction to an unsatisfactory situation. In that sense the attention to social networks as a potential means to force change is very understandable. There is a lot of downward spiraling going on which is reflected in economic and business failures, market issues, the rise of fraud, political instabilities, rising crime figures, the rise of social justice and environmental sustainability as key issues on agendas, the rise of religion and spirituality and many other general trends. These are the actual context in which social networking for personal, business and even political purposes need to be seen. A wider approach will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the role and place of social networking in our future.

For now I would say may this post and the responses be a stimulus for all that believe in this idea to start exploring and researching properly.We may very well be heading
towards a completely new way of doing business and a new economy but a lot of work is still in need of being done on the research side. It is important that we start seeing and studying these phenomena in their wider context and from there we can actually start working on a potential revolution.

Thanks again Jay for your fantastic work and Michael for your constant replies.

Michael Pokocky November 23, 2007 at 1:35 am

There is so much flawed thinking in this post and this is misleading.

The first example is Scott Allen’s comment to TechNewsWorld, “As more business happens online, it’s natural that the business dealings that lead up to the transactions would happen more online.” Allen is making an assumption here with no empirical data to back this up. Where is the data, and if there is data, then what measures were taken to create a controlled environment where the observations were made? I presume there is no controlled study that backs up this claim, so are we to make plans based on assumption without any due diligence? This is a recipe for disaster.

The second example is Graham Cluley’s comment, “It’s a great research and recruitment tool,” This statement is cautiously said by referencing “research and recruitment.” Clever. However it is misleading too. There is not enough data to support this claim as well, but it is a wise observation over a limited time frame and it supports the hypothesis that some others have claimed that the only business that is benefiting from this “too” is recruiters.

The third example is Bradshaw’s statement, “In an increasingly competitive world, the most valuable asset companies have is their knowledge, and the one thing this type of platform lets you do is find people with the knowledge you need, and use those skills better in .” The “most valuable asset” is not knowledge, but people. People create. Knowledge is the result of creativity produced by the minds of individuals. The other problem is that knowledge is not shared freely. So Bradshaw is right when he says that the best thing one can find is, “people with the knowledge you need…” which is the same thing as saying that people are easier to find. But the problem that is the assumption Bradshaw makes, “collaboration with other people.” There is a real communications problem here that really is misleading because on the one hand he says we can find the people and collaborate, but on the other hand he makes this statement in support of the new business economy and business is capitalism. Making money. Who is going to share their valuable knowledge in a business transaction for free? And that is not addressed nor backed up here what-so-ever.

Then the observation made,”As the media reports more and more about innovative uses of social networks for business purposes the old mental models will be pushed from the outside in. The analyst, consultants and market makers will create the new paradigms which eventually will be adopted by businesses globally.” Where is the data or studies to back up this claim?

Jay asserts a very open ended assumption, “If the phenomenon of social networking for business purposes is a logical extension of personal networking then the collective individuals currently using networks will be those that create the new paradigms….until the next generation expands our thinking even more.” This is again another example with all due respect to Jay, that the arguments made in here are all based on assumption and business never assumes anything.

What we have here are several statement made by well known individuals which do not provide any proof or study, not one, that backs up their statements.

One cannot run a business based on assumptions and the advocacy of authority figures who do not have any studies to show that there claims are at least worth of further research.

I see we are in crisis and as a collective we are all participating in a lab experiment for the benefit of future generations. But at what cost to our business and personal lives? What is the cost to us on a pro-rata share of an analysis done on time spent verses return on invested time? Is there a correlation between one’s participation in social networking and rates of divorce, suicide, addiction, stress, health, and other areas of study to many to mention?

Why not stop and think for yourself and answer one of these questions?

What I am advocating here is the fact we have an inherent natural ability to interact socially with one another in the real world and this cannot be replicated online no matter what way you want to spin it.

We have a crisis of social morality here that is not natural and I think it is all driven by our desires and needs projected onto the internet hoping for our dreams to come true. This is Disney World folks and the best use of time is to go and visit it for real with your kids or for the sake of the kid inside all of us.

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