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Enterprise Social Networks

Enterprise Social Networks

Enterprise social networking focuses on the use of online social networks or social relations among people who share business interests and/or activities. Enterprise social networking is often a facility of enterprise social software (regarded as a primary component of Enterprise 2.0), which is essentially social software used in "enterprise" (business/commercial) contexts. It encompasses modifications to corporate intranets (referred to as social intranets) and other classic software platforms used by large companies to organize their communication, collaboration and other aspects of their intranets. Enterprise social networking is also generally thought to include the use of a standard external social networking service to generate visibility for an enterprise.

Social networking sites started to form in the 1990s; an example of these websites is Theglobe.com, which began in 1995. As other websites such as GeoCities and Tripod.com started to form online communities, they encouraged their users to interact with each other via chat rooms and other tools. They also provided easy-to-use publishing tools along with free web space. Classmates.com’s approach was to link people together via their emails, the website was like a friends search engine.

Businesses eventually realized that social networking websites could provide a fast and efficient way of marketing. Social media websites are great places for businesses to reach their customers, and the environment can provide a means for growing a business. In 2005, as social networking websites were becoming more and more popular, Myspace had more page views than Google. Myspace was followed by Facebook which started in February 2004. When Facebook began, users were limited to college students in the United States, who had to use a college email with a .edu extension to join the network. In September 2005 some high schools were allowed to join the network, but they needed an invitation to join. On September 26 of 2006, Facebook announced that anyone around the world older than 13 years old with a valid email would be able to join Facebook’s online community. In October 2007, Microsoft purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook. That gave them the right to place international ads on Facebook. In July 2010 it was reported that Facebook had more than 500 million active users. This means that one out of fourteen people around the world is a Facebook user. The growth of Facebook was a boom in the social networking space. Facebook became a huge corporation that had 1400 employees in 2009; their estimated revenue was US$800 million in 2009. In 2010, it was reported that there were more than 200 social networking websites on the web.

Many companies are starting to implement social networks to promote collaboration amongst their employees. Vendors are now starting to use this as a way to help out the different companies. Some companies are starting to teach their employees about cloud computing and SaaS. These new technologies are being added to the enterprise social networks. These networks are being implemented to get employees collaborating and sharing tips and ideas about how to improve the workplace. Some social networks are homegrown systems that are built internally. Companies are using social networks to trade information amongst team members or other people who are part of the company. Sometimes this might also mean trading documents in real time. Based on research by Gartner (2010), 50% of enterprises will be using some sort of social network by 2012.

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F.A.Q about Enterprise Social Networks

What is an enterprise social network?

Social networks are inherently open, public spaces, available to anyone who wishes to sign up. Now imagine a private social network, only accessible by members of an organization, business or club. This is essentially what an enterprise social network is, kept private to that particular organization. This can be extremely useful for businesses that require all the collaborative features and efficiency of a modern social network, without the public, potentially unsecured nature of them.

Why use an enterprise social network?

We’re inherently social beings, and so the modern enterprise workplace contains an abundance of varying formats of communication, both online and off. Talking to co-workers, making phone calls, sending emails – the list goes on. By compiling all of these channels of connectivity together into one interactive, easily accessible digital environment, you can reap the many rewards of enhanced, community-driven workspaces, helping to move your business forward through better connectivity, collaboration and productivity.

What form do corporate social networks take?

Organizations can utilize a range of different social platforms, such as discussion forums and intranets. Whatever works for your company, team or department, can become a social network.

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