Monday, March 16, 2009

Social networking sites as a business tool?

Unless you’ve been completely unplugged, you’ve seen Microsoft’s new ‘People Ready’ ads touting the benefits of constantly-emerging technology in today’s global workplace. Communication is as essential to our businesses as it is to our personal lives. Many of us do what we can to keep up with technology and the latest communication tools (this is a blog, n’est-ce pas?).

What we know is that social media tools are ever-evolving and ever-emerging from cyberspace - MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…the list goes on and on and on. While I’m ‘plugged-in’ to many, I only use one for professional purposes.
And I’m not alone.

According to a recent survey conduced by PennEnergy in partnership with the Oil & Gas Journal Research Center, Microsoft Corp., and Accenture, only one out of four respondents reported leveraging new social media tools to capture and share important information internally.

The “Oil and Gas Collaboration Survey 2009,” conducted in January, polled 272 oil and gas industry professionals from around the world and was the first to try to measure the effect of social networking sites on an industry known for being slow to embrace change.

While the majority of respondents aren’t using these types of tools professionally, 40% of them believe company adoption of the tools, including social networking sites, would boost productivity on the job.

Personally, I’m not convinced these tools will aid day-to-day operations any more than an email or a phone call.

Have an idea otherwise? I’d love to hear it.


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