Business Week (BW) recently updated one of their hottest pieces from 2005. The article was on the impact of Blogs in the workplace. As a result, the June 2nd edition of BW highlighted the positive and negative impact of this evolution in communication on the workplace.
The metrics painted an interesting picture:
- 25% of U.S. adults online read a blog once a month (Forrester cited)
- IBM’s internal social network, “Beehive“, has 30,000 employees on it
- Twitter estimates 1 Million users now
- Dell’s service on Twitter has brought in $500k+, in new orders, in the last year
- Splogs (Spam Blogs) now account for 90% of all blog postings (though filters catch most)
- Technoratti now indexes 74 Million blogs (but only 5.2 Million are estimated as active)
- Best Buy’s social staff site, “Blue Shirt Nation” has 20,000 participants, most exited staff remain users
BW also had some good insights, both positive and negative, into the growing trends and impact at the workplace:
- “Millions of us are now hanging out on the Internet with customers, befriending rivals, clicking through pictures of our boss at a barbecue or seeing what she is reading at the beach. It’s as if the walls around our companies are vanishing and old org charts are lying on their sides”
- “This can be disturbing for top management who are losing control, at least in the traditional sense.”
- “…companies that don’t adapt are sure to get lots of (the downside)”
- “…we have developed top-down reflexes that are nearly Pavlovian. We have to reprogram ourselves.”
- “(employees) may see what technologies their competitors are putting into alpha tests and get the buzz on new rounds of financing.”
- “Work and leisure, colleague and rival; they all blend on these networks.”
- “…wikis raze traditional hierarchies: An intern can amend the work of a senior engineer.”
- “Managers have to make sure that quieter employees don’t lose out.”
The article sums things up nicely by stating “…the potential for both better and worse is huge, and it’s growing”. So not unlike other developments it is all about how each enterprise manages this evolution of communication. The question is, are you leveraging this evolution in communication for the benefit of your staff, customers and company? Your competitors are probably working on it now.
Whatever happened to those companies that didn’t put up a website anyway? Happy twittering.