Enterprise Social Networking

With the enormous awareness on social networking, you’d think companies would have embraced the concept much sooner.  A new article on Business Week summarizes the current state of networking in the enterprise, calling attention to a few major tacks companies take:

  1. Encouraging employees to get more connected online (LinkedIn, OpenBC)
  2. Creating stand-alone networks, such as alumni networks (SelectMinds)
  3. Mining employee communications for network analysis purposes (Contact Networks)
  4. Marketing networks, user communities and loyalty programs

Having been away from the enterprise services area for about a year now, it is still striking to see how fragmented the field remains.  Our vision for SelectMinds, when we founded it in 1999 was that there would be tremendous value in creating intra-company networks (in the shape of alumni programs) and ultimately linking them up in one unified professional network.
LinkedIn and OpenBC have been tackling the unified network area, but as the article points out, there are reasons for companies to be nervous.  The inside-out approach of starting in the enterprise may be the more successful model.  I think SelectMinds is in a unique position to accomplish that in the US market.

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