I recently blogged on support for the idea that social networking sites -- or similar technology -- can create business value by promoting knowledge sharing and innovation within and between organizations. It's an idea that seems to be rolling down hill with some force, and you can be sure Google's just announced proposed standards for creating social networking apps will get the attention of corporate developers.
Now for a dissenting voice:
"Oh, sure, there are some marginal business applications, but they generally feel like warmed-over knowledge management," writes Harvard Business Online contributor Tom Davenport.
His take: Facebook, MySpace, et al. have a place in the business world, but only to help employees connect socially, not professionally. "If you want to keep your employees, it's generally a good idea to facilitate friendships among them. Posting pictures and wishing people happy birthday and making lists of the places you've been -- it seems to be the only way that many people can get through the work day."
So why not use a social networking product to collaborate on a professional level? Simple, he says. FaceBook and MySpace were created by and for young people to help them stay in touch with each other. Tools such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft SharePoint were created by and for for the big boys and girls to get business done.