Oh, no—we're not talking about internal instant messaging, internal memos and GoToMeeting invites? Oh, no, no, no. It's 2013, plummeting into 2014, and we're well-past (or should be well-past) that.
Social media as a whole is at that same precipice MySpace.com teetered on in 2006 and 2007 when Facebook, founded a year earlier, was starting to make a real name for its user-friendly, then-college-folks-only self. It was when Facebook decided to open its gates to the general public that web socialites began to abandon MySpace like the Israelites' exodus from Egypt.
So here I am, imagining this secret quarterly meeting of the top social media minds—FB, Twitter, Pinterest and even Instagram, which is booming in popularity since FB snatched it up a year ago— where Zuck, Kevin (Instagram), Dick (Twitter) and Ben (Pinterest) are all sitting around, drinking Stella. It's awkward and quiet, with no TV or music on. Mark Zuckerburg's wearing his infamous hoodie-jeans ensemble in his play to be Steve Job's twin-minion and Dick is obviously trying to figure out ways to thwart the highly black-owned trending topics through a group text conversation with Twitter jocks. And they're all not saying the one question on each of their minds: "So, how can we expand on this whole social thing so we can make more guap?"
(Obviously, they would use "guapa" in the place of "revenue." C'mon. I'm not the only one who says this. Anyway...)
As I mentioned in a post not too long ago, I think the next step is making social media an acceptable tool of the workplace. Why the heck not? It's the plausible, next step right before letting businesses actually set-up virtual marketplaces/checkouts on their fan pages, and is the step right after themed online chat rooms make a comeback, AOL 1999-style (Remember "a/s/l"? lol).
In my new position as an employee engagement specialist, my mission is to light a fire under the company's goal of creating social interaction between associates across the entire company, which is international and boasts a 40,000+ employee landscape. Talk about the task at hand, right?
I assume many other hungry companies are also carving out thin slices of their HR departments and handing them down to some young, tech-savvy wanna-be socialite like myself with a similar mission—tryout a more social work environment, one that aligns with the increasingly social world we now live in.
My challenge is particularly interesting, for lack of a better word. It's a massive company. Spread out across two continents, and in the midst of huge growth. But what makes my mission doable—and fun— is that I have support from the company's executive team and many of the company's employees who want to invest in the company (employees who take ownership in the success of the company they work for, even when there are shareholders involved, are the best kind of people to team up with).
Some questions that need answering:
Would internal social networking platforms disrupt productivity?
Could it encourage cross-functional partnerships?
Would constant connection between offices that are 4,000 miles apart be more annoying than a quick ping?
Could the network bring an air of humanity to an otherwise mundane and robotic workday?