In my last post I talked about how the portability allowed by a platform like Laconica means big things for business. Now with these tools, each business is able to have it’s own internal micro-blogging platform, and it’s own Lifestream, powered by the people who work there.
When looking at how micro-blogging in an internal setting will impact a business, it’s important to start understanding what it’s going to mean for a company to be “Micro Blogging Enabled”. What images will come to mind when we know a company runs an internal micro-blogging platform. Could corporate micro-blogging catch on enough in the short term future enough for us to look for companies to be enabled in this sort of way?
There are a bunch of images and ideas that come to mind when I think of this:
- Employees would be able to quickly reply to colleagues regardless of the medium they use or their location for the purpose of doing things as simple as congratulating them on promotions, letting them feel more connected and part of their work-community
- Communications from management that are delivered in a more organizationally flat method where employees can communicate respond through a broadcast method and be heard.
- Smaller, more rapid communications can help to identify problems or opportunities more immediately.
- Managers and teams could develop a better understanding of the work their team and coworkers actually do, letting mistaken ideas about processes be identified and a better understanding of obstacles be developed.
Marina Martin, of the Oh, Identi.ca! blog, commented on my previous post about Laconica with some good ideas on benefits that a Laconica instance could have in an organization over standard IM or email systems:
Instant Messaging within an organization has always been a thorn in my side, because there is definite value in being able to quickly ask/answer questions with other employees for things that do not necessarily justify an email. However, IM has lots of problems: it’s a rare employee who isn’t *also* IMing their non-work friends (and no way to allow one and block the other); interactions are one-on-one; and there’s no corporate archiving of the information (GTalk archives don’t work well here).
A Laconi.ca instance within a company would solve all of these problems – encourage community/teamwork, logging answers to questions and making them searchable, and allowing any employee to pose a question to the entire organization. As long as the nature of the platform is clear – that is, there’s no obligation to keep it open all day, respond to every message, or even the READ every message – I see it as a positive in many corporate environments.
Breaking down what Marina said here, we can see some of the structural benefits provided in the form of an indexable and searchable archive of messages. Micro-blogging is a system with the same level of utility as IM, but with built-in controls letting admins keep the communications inside the company. Even micro-blogging tools like tracking could be very useful in an organization.
This is really only scratching the surface. The more cases like these that can be made to strengthen the argument that micro-blogging platforms do have a meaningful place within organizations as a business-value adding service, the sooner we’ll see high penetration in the commercial market. Even if the Twitter A-list never migrates over to Identi.ca, Laconica has a very good chance of establishing itself in a more corporate arena.