Social networking platforms are great ways to share relevant content with business colleagues, but this practice also creates new data security concerns.
Integrated Solutions, July/August 2009
Written by: Ken Congdon
I admit it. I was a late adopter of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. I just didn't get it. Why would anyone care what I just ate for breakfast or how I felt about Kobe Bryant winning his fourth NBA title? Sorry, Shaq. The fact is, nobody would. However, I soon realized these sites could offer much more. What if, instead of serving as a running chronicle of my daily activities and pithy thoughts, I used social networking as a means to expedite the distribution of our magazine content to loyal readers? Now that could offer real business value. While I still don't personally tweet, I did recently establish a Twitter account for Integrated Solutions Magazine. If you tweet, follow us at www.twitter.com/isminfo.
We're still new to Twitter, but it has already proven to be an extremely valuable means in which to share information with and receive information from our readers and business partners. I regularly alert our followers on Twitter when new original content or vendor news is posted to our website. I'll also drive them to relevant content (e.g. white papers, articles, webinars, etc.) produced by other organizations I know they'll have an interest in. In fact, Twitter has become a primary means through which I become alerted to new content produced by analyst firms, industry associations, and other media outlets.
While Twitter has proven to be a valuable resource, actively tweeting has also opened my eyes to the content management challenges social networking platforms can place on IT departments around the globe. When you combine corporate Twitter accounts with individual employee accounts, a single organization can post hundreds of threads per day. How are these posts being policed to ensure sensitive data isn't leaked? Because once this information is out there, there's no taking it back. Furthermore, how is this content being archived, managed, and searched for regulatory compliance purposes?
To read the full article "Enterprise Search In A Social Networking World," visit ISMinfo.com/jp/5990.
These are all questions that many businesses have yet to fully answer or even think about. I recently interviewed leaders in the enterprise search industry for an article that tackled the search-related challenges caused by social networking content. You can read the article at www.isminfo.com/jp/5990.
A recurring message delivered throughout the article was that even though most businesses aren't thinking about tweets and other blog posts as part of their corporate data streams, they should be. These social networking threads can expose your business just as much as, if not more than, mismanaged email can. An enterprise search platform that provides a bridge between new social networking repositories (e.g. wikis, blogs, and cloud-based applications such as SalesForce.com) as well as classic content repositories such as intranets, SharePoint, and Microsoft Exchange Server can be a valuable tool in helping you consolidate new Web 2.0 content and existing digital assets. By all means, keep on tweeting, but you may want to begin developing corporate policies and procedures around how your employees use social networking sites for business purposes as well.