Internal Micro Messaging Platforms Are Gold

Internal Micro Messaging Platforms Are Gold.

Especially for those near the bottom of the organizational ladder.  On my spare time I’ve been looking more into various internal micro messaging platforms (IMMP) including Yammer, Present.ly, and Socialcast. What I realised soon after is that the size of the messages didn’t matter nearly as much as the one degree of separation I suddenly could have to people all over my organization: To people on the other side of the world, to people in the same building but different departments, to high level managers and VPs who I wouldn’t ever really talk to. Internal micro messaging platforms could give me and my voice a lot more reach.

Employees have the opportunity within minutes of accessing these systems to provide more value to their co-workers, to have their voices heard, and ideas of seniority and of reputation start to become less important. Communication is less formal, less awkward or intimidating, which in itself can already help more introverted employees participate in a more comfortable way. This direct visibility adds so many opportunities in organizations. Once you share ideas, there are opportunities for quick feed back, for ad-hoc groups to form, and like it or not credit is less likely to be stolen, though we’ll see what IMMP mean to the world of office politics…

One inequality in organizations that uniquely effect the use of IMMPs in organizations are the work force demographic.What happens to the employee with 12 years at the company who doesn’t adopt and join the internal discussions that are taking place on the IMMP when the new hire, there for one month, is actively posting messages, helping co-workers with their problems and sharing links? Of course the new hire won’t become more important or useful by any means to the company, but this sort of example does two things:

  1. Emphasises the differences between old and new ways of working,
  2. Creates an alternative conversation channel in the company, that is easy for people to miss.

I’ve talked about on Twitter a bit which services I like and others not so much, but I think one of the key ways IMMPs can help change business overall is by taking Socialcast’s approach and integrate more lifestreaming into their offering. Corporate integration with lifestreaming could potentially be the final blow to this antiquated notion of work life balance (one that younger workers would be best to forget all together while they can).

I’ll have more thoughts on these platforms at a later time but I hope to see some big improvements in all the players, more features, better value offerings to organizations, and a sustainable business model.

Do you have any experince with internal micro messaging platforms?
Will they have any impact on how we see “work life balance” disappear or change?

Image via CrunchBase


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