Companies Crave Corporate Versions of Twitter and Facebook.
How should companies embrace social media? Twitter co-founder Biz Stone ticked off examples of corporations and small businesses using Twitter as a tool to reach customers, but many Brainstorm participants said they need social networks for internal collaboration. Diane Bryant, chief information officer of Intel, extolled the virtues of sites like Facebook: the engagement, the constant feedback, and the ability to quickly discover what your “friends” find interesting and important — all information that would be valuable in a working group. “Why isn’t there a social media application for the enterprise?” Bryant demanded. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s executive chairman, later described an emerging service, CompanyGroups, that might be the answer Bryant seeks. The tool serves as a sort of online back channel for workers to chat and share information. Hoffman explained that many individuals now use LinkedIn to ask their associates or advice on, say, the best way to stay abreast of industry news. Now, he says, “you’ll be able to do that within a company.” Sounds as if Intel might soon be one of those companies.