Internal Social Networking for Airservices: Can getting employees to talk to each other boost engagement?

Welcome everybody to my week 10 blog post for INN346 Enterprise 2.0. Wow, how the time has flown. Nine weeks of blogging over, only this one to go and then we will have set ourselves up to be able to make well informed decisions about Web 2.0 for the workplace. We started off by building a strong foundation by properly familiarising ourselves with exactly what Enterprise 2.0 is, the benefits and risks that are associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0, the legal issues that can arise from social media use and how we can encourage adoption of Web 2.0 tools by staff. We then took this sturdy base of knowledge and built upon it by thinking a bit more about some of the more prevalent Web 2.0 tools and how they could be used by real organisations as a way of solving some of their current business problems.

The organisation? Airservices.

The mission? Improve staff efficiency, encourage better communication between staff develop a knowledge management solution and increase staff engagement.

The tools? So far….micro-blogs, blogs and wikis.

And then? Next up, the wonderful world of social networking services (or SNS’s for short).

SNSS (Aka Social Networking Service Strategies…who doesn’t love an acronym that sounds like the sound you make when you sneeze?)
So how can Airservices use SNS’s to benefit their organisation and help them achieve some of their business goals? What strategies can they adopt that will ensure that they make the most of what SNS’s have to offer? The strategy that I’m going to focus on is internal communications. I am going to look at how implementing an internal social networking strategy can help Airservices to improve staff engagement, morale and communication.

Please, once you have finished reading my blog, pop over to the blogs my team mates to check out the social networking strategies that they have covered this week:
Andrew
Aurelie
Alex
Claire

Internal Communications
The Airservices Workforce Plan 2012-13 identifies one of the main challenges that the organisation will face in the future as “increasing the rate of engagement of its employees”. One of the strategies identified within the report for increasing staff engagement is to enhance social club arrangements, creating opportunities to network and participate in extra curricular activities. I believe that this strategy can be further improved through the implementation of an internal social network. Social clubs are restricted to the physical locations of staff, whereas an online social network would allow staff to engage with co-workers who are located in not only separate cities, but different states as well.

Candice, are you sure social networking can help boost employee engagement?
Well, a recent study conducted by APCO Worldwide found that companies utilising internal social media services were experiencing a higher level of staff engagement than those that weren’t. The study also found:
• Employees of companies using internal social media strategies well were less likely to leave their jobs;
• 39% of employees of companies using internal social media strategies would recommend their company’s products and services to others; and
• 61% of employees said that the social networking tools of their organisation improved collaboration.

And if that’s not evidence enough, Dr Jason Watson also informed us in our lecture this week that the benefits of internal social networking include:
• Enhanced collaboration; and
• Better moral.
Honestly, what more could you want?

How to make it work
Airservices has an aging workforce, 16% are aged 55 years and over and 46% of the total workforce is over 45 years of age. In order to market a tool such as an online social network to a workforce made up most of Baby Boomers and Gen X’s, push from management will be needed. Staff will need to be encouraged to use the new technology, and this may be helped along by combining Airservices suggested approach with this one, get the social clubs on board. Staff participation in the Airservices social clubs is relatively strong. The presidents and committee members of the social clubs could be given the task of inviting staff to join the social network as a way of encouraging use. They already run raffles and share pictures from the events that they run via the corporate email, this sort of activity could be moved to the social network, which would encourage other staff to participate.

Also, most staff are familiar with and read the monthly corporate newsletter, a good idea would be to publish an article on the new social networking site upon its launch, and a link to it should be put on the front page of the corporate intranet. This would ensure that the majority of staff are aware that it exists, and know how to access it.

In addition to this, policies and guidelines need to be set up to ensure staff are aware of the proper and acceptable uses of the new service.

I would love to hear any other ideas that you may have for how to make internal social network successful amongst a workforce that may not even be using Facebook at home? I’d also love to hear if your workplace has successfully (or not) implemented and internal social networking service, and how it was marketed to staff.

References:
Softjoe Collaborative: Social Media & Employee Engagement
APCO Worldwide
Ragan.com: Study proves internal social media engages employees
IABC Research Foundation & Buck Consultants: Employee Engagement Survey
Airservices Workforce Plan 2012-13
Enterprise 2.0 Lecture Week 10: Social Networking including corporate Considerations. Dr Jason Watson

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Wonderful Wiki Strategies – The Airservices Approach

Welcome one and all. Nice to see your smiling faces once again. So, the subject of the week is Wikis. I don’t know about you, but the name sort of produces mental images of a beautiful beach hut surrounded by palm trees, coconuts and white sanded beaches for me.

Picture: wallcoo.com

Which, when you come to think of it, really isn’t that unusual, considering the term is derived from a Hawaiian word meaning quick. However, unlike the description that I provided, wikis are actually internet based pages that can be edited by multiple users. The most famous of all being Wikipedia.

Honestly, who doesn’t love Wikipedia? If you have a question about just about anything, chances are, you’ll find the answer you’re looking for on Wikipedia. So many people have put their time, effort and knowledge into compiling this huge bank of information for all the world to share.

Now, image if you could take the idea behind Wikipedia (a whole bunch of really smart people, sharing their knowledge) and make it just about stuff that you need to know for work. Well you can. Enterprise wiki software allows companies to implement their own wikis that staff can edit to share information between teams, work groups, projects or everybody within the organisation depending on their needs. This way they can utilise all of the knowledge and expertise of all their staff, and make it available to other staff who can benefit from it.

Quick refresher before we get started

Do you remember my post from last week? The one where I introduced you to Airservices? You know, the company that my team and I will be doing our assignment on? You: “Yes Candice”. Good. Now that we’ve got that sorted, we can start to think a bit about how Airservices could make use wikis to enhance their business procedures.

What’s the Wiki Strategy?

Look, there are a lot of ways any organisation can make use of wikis to improve communication amongst staff and gather and share information, but the particular strategy that I am going to look at this week is staff rostering. Airservices has staff at sites all over the country, and a good portion of these staff work shift. Because of the vital role that Airservices provides to the Australian aviation community, they must have staff working around the clock. This is not just the air traffic controllers directing aircraft, but the technical staff supporting the systems that they use. These staff all work on a rotating shift roster, which, as any of you who have ever worked on any sort of roster know, is continuously updated to accommodate holidays, sick staff, mutual swaps and training. And, we all know how annoying it is, when the roster is changed, and you don’t know about it and you either don’t turn up for work when you are supposed to, or you turn up when you are supposed to be still snuggled up in bed.

How could Airservices use make wikis work for them?

By implementing a Wiki for the purpose of staff rostering, staff would be able to view their current roster over the internet at any time. This would be beneficial to staff on leave, as they would be able to access the current roster from home to see if any changes to their regular shifts have been planned. This would reduce the number of times staff come in (or don’t) for the wrong shift and would mean that all staff are always across when other team members will be unavailable for work. Of course, edits to the roster wiki would have to be restricted only to rostering staff, but it could also be beneficial to include a page where staff can edit a table outlining the leave that they would like to take. This would allow staff to have a view of when other staff will be on leave as well as update their leave requests when they are out of the office.

Do you have any particular wiki software in mind?

As I mentioned last week, Airservices have recently started using Yammer. Yammer would be perfect for this purpose as it can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser and allows for security controls to be placed on pages. This would give Airserives the ability to create a group for each shift team and assign privileges to the members determining which members of staff can edit the page contents, and who is only allowed to view it.

What do you think? Would this be a more efficient way of maintaing a shift roster? Can you think of any other benefits that could be gained from taking this approach?

Thanks again everybody for reading. I’ll see you all next time.

References:
Wikipedia: Wiki
Wikipedia: Wiki Software
ZDNet: Exploiting the Power of Enterprise Wikis
Fusion ECM: Enterprise Wiki Strategies

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Micro Blogging – Let’s Talk Strategy

Welcome everybody to my Blog post for week 8.  So the topic of the week is, blogging and micro-blogging in the workplace.  This week’s task is all about how can we use blogs and microblogs to provide benefits to the company that we have selected for Assignment 2.  So let’s start off with a brief introduction to the company that myself and my team mates Aurelie, Claire, Andrew and Alex are going to be working on, Airservices.

I am currently employed by Airservices as part of their networking team in the Technical Operations Centre.  Airservices is a government owned organisation who, in a nutshell, is responsible for providing safe and efficient services to the aviation industry.  These services include, airspace management, aeronautical information, aviation communications, radio navigations aids and aviation rescue and fire fighting services. The networks team that I am a part of helps to monitor and maintain the data and voice networks that support the services that people such as Air Traffic Control use to communicate with and track aircraft.

As a side note, as we all know, there are a lot of legal issues that can arise due to the use of social media, so I’m going to have to be really careful that I don’t disclose any information that could be considered confidential, so please forgive me if I can’t be too specific in relation to some things.

So, now, down to business. Best we take it from the top:

Blogging & Micro Blogging. What are they?
Well, clearly you know what a blog is, you are reading one right now, but what exactly is a micro blog?  Well, as the name suggests, a micro blog is simply a small blog.  Micro blogging involves posting short messages, usually about 140 characters in length.  They are basically used as a way for people to make short posts of either one or two sentences, links and videos that other people can read.

What are some of the objectives that we think we could achieve by implementing blogs and Micro blogs within Airservices?

  • Reduce the number of emails sent on a daily basis;
  • Improve staff productivity and efficiency;
  • Knowledge management;
  • Improve communication between teams; and
  • Improve staff relations and encourage socialisation.

What strategy is going to be my main focus for achieving the above mentioned goals?
Ideally, we need to encourage and increase the number of staff who are blogging and micro blogging within the organisation.  At the moment everything is done via email and telephone.  However, Airservices has recently implemented the corporate social networking tool Yammer, and to date, it has not been received well.  This is mostly due to the confusion that surrounds its purpose.

If used properly, Yammer can be used to achieve all of the above-mentioned objectives.  According to the official Yammer website, it is designed to be used for company collaboration, file sharing, knowledge exchange and team efficiency.  If we can increase the number of staff, team leaders, project managers and branch managers making use blogging and micro blogging via Yammer, we should be able to achieve our desired outcomes. So my strategy is to (pardon the atrocious pun) get people Yammering more with Yammer.

Image: saidaonline.com

How do we do that?

  • Training – teach staff how to use Yammer
  • Education – inform staff of the potential benefits that blogging and micro blogging can bring to the organisation
  • Promotion – let everybody know it is there
  • Higher level support – get management involved

So that’s the plan, I’ll keep you all posted on how we go.  Promise.

For now, please check out the blogs of my fellow team members for their take on how microblogging can be used within Airserivces:

Claire De Larrinaga
Aurelie Filloux
Andrew Cook
Alexander Herwix

References:
Airservices Australia: About Us
Facebook Can Improve Employee Moral
Implementing a Successful Corporate Microblogging Strategy
Yammer

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Adopting Enterprise 2.0 – Trust me, all the cool companies are doing it

Over the past couple of weeks we have looked at some of the great benefits that can be gained from the implementation of Enterprise 2.0 and some of the risks that need to be considered. After careful thinking and thorough research, together we have come to the conclusion that the benefits far outweigh the risks and if an organisation really wants to keep up with the Joneses (so to speak) they need to get in amongst it and make and effort to make use of some of the wonderful tools that Enterprise 2.0 has to offer. So that begs the question, (in the words of Miss Lara Bingle) “where the bloody hell are they?”. In this day and age, any company that isn’t making use of some sort of Web 2.0 tool needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and I mean that literally.

Photo: Alamy

Did you know that since 2008 when Starbucks was suffering from declining sales for the first time since it stared, they have become one of the most highly engaged companies in social media and are once again back in favor with consumers announcing record profits for the 2012 3rd quarter (Starbucks Investor Relations, 2012)? It’s true! In 2008 Starbucks had lost itself and was as a result losing customers. They were looking for a way to re-connect with their customers and one of their barristers (Mr Brad Nelson) had the ingenious idea that they should engage with their customers via Twitter. This idea was originally dismissed by management, but Mr Nelson was persistent, he put together a presentation about the benefits of Twitter and how it could be used to connect with customers. His idea was eventually given the green light and the rest as they say, is history.

Image: Starbucks Corporation 2011 Fiscal Report

Starbucks now have over 2 million Twitter followers, nearly 32 millions fans on Facebook and nearly 14, 000 subscribers to their youtube channel.

In addition to this, Starbucks have also implemented their very own social networking site called My Starbucks Idea where customers can make suggestions about what they would like to see from Starbucks. They also have a blog called Ideas In Action which is written by Starbucks staff about what Starbucks is doing with the ideas that have been made by customers on My Starbucks Idea.

It took Starbucks a good four years to cement their digital branding, and with the recent appointment of a Chief Digital Officer, it seems that they have finally realised that Enterprise 2.0 is the way of the future, and really, resistance is futile.

Starbucks have adopted social media tools not only as a way of connecting with their customers, but as a way of harvesting ideas and collecting data. When Starbucks entered the social media scene, it was done with complete conviction. Facebook, Twitter, the Starbucks blog, and their own social network all launched at once, showing commitment by management and confidence in what they were doing. In 2009 as a way of encouraging staff to participate, they ran a competition where employees could submit ideas for future ads. This reward scheme was the perfect way of engaging staff. My Starbucks Idea and Ideas in Action also used this method of encouraging consumers to contribute because each idea that was submitted was reviewed and had the potential to be actually implemented. This encouraged customers to make use of the social media tools provided and gave Starbucks the perfect platform for gathering data that they could then analyse to determine what their customers really wanted in order to improve the service that they deliver. The main thing that Starbucks did with the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 that made it such a success, was switch their focus from the company to the consumer. This push came from management and filtered down to staff level.

So why aren’t more organisations following suit?

Image: icanhascheezeburger.com

Well there are a number of things that can hinder the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 by an organisation, such as concerns about security, concerns about the risks to core business practices etc, but personally the one that I’ve witnessed most within my organisation is simply that people are creatures of habit and that they are scared of change. If there is no immediate need to change, most people are happy to continue on doing what they are already doing. Most middle to high level managers (who are the people who would be responsible for approving the introduction of these sorts of tools) are still within the age group where Enterprise 2.0 is still sort of foreign and just a little bit intimidating. Until it can be proven to them how beneficial something new can be, whether that be via a ROI report or they see that their competitors are doing it and doing to well, chances are they are going to remain skeptical on the issue. Employees are the same, unless they are forced to, or they can see some huge advantage in changing the way they work, they are just going to stick with what they know. As the next generation starts to rise through the ranks, I think that is when Enterprise 2.0 will really start to gain momentum within organisations. Once again, this is just my opinion, what’s yours?

References:

Starbucks Investor Relations
New York Times: Starbucks Corporation
New Your Times: Starbucks Announces It Will Close 600 Stores
Altimeter: EngagementdB
The Next Web: The Starbucks Formula for Social Media Success
Venturebeat: Starbucks Digital Strategy
Starbucks Newsroom: Chief Digital Officer
Branding Personality: How Starbucks Built an Engaging Brand on Social Media
Advertising Age: Starbucks Gets it’s Business Brewing Again with Social Media
ZDNet: Top 10 Issues in Adopting Enterprise Social Computing
GSC: Starbucks Use of Social Media Keeps Customers Coming Back
Mashable: Starbucks Takes its Social Media Marketing Offline

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Social Media, how do you plead? Not guilty your honour.

Social media, it’s all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit.  Last week we looked at some of the benefits and risks that an organisation needs to consider when deciding whether or not they want to implement Enterprise 2.0 technologies.  This week we’re going to delve a little deeper into the risk side, and look at some of the legal risks associated with Enterprise 2.0.  Who’d have thought that there were so many ways you could break the law while tweeting?

The legal implications of organisations branching out into the use of social media are huge, there are so many things that need to be considered, like copyright, privacy, defamation, fair work practices, loss of confidential information and loss of reputation (just to name a few).  So, what can an organisation do to avoid falling victim to these risks?

Well, the organisation that I’ve chosen to look at is CASA.  What on earth is a CASA you ask?  Well CASA stands for Civil Aviation Safety Authority and they are responsible for “enhancing and promoting aviation safety through effective regulation and by encouraging the wider aviation community to embrace and deliver higher standards of safety.”  (CASA, 2012)  So basically CASA’s job is to regulate civil air operations in Australia and the operation of Australian aircraft overseas.  (Keep us safe while we fly, that sort of stuff.)  Do you recall when when Tiger Airways was suspended from flying last year because there were doing some shonky things like flying their planes below the minimum permitted altitude?  Well that was CASA who decided to ground their planes.

So in the case of CASA, let’s have a bit of a look at the sort of things can go wrong:

  • Loss of confidential information – a federal government organisation such as CASA has plenty of super-secret information tucked away, it would be huge problem for them if the following occurred:  an ignorant CASA employee tweets

  • Defamation – cranky staff jumping onto either their own or the organisation’s facebook page/twitter account/social network and venting their frustrations about another co-worker or manager.
  • Reputation Risk – staff making inappropriate tweets via the CASA twitter account that make the company look bad.
  • Bullying &/or Harassment – CASA staff using CASA sponsored social networking mediums to attack other members of staff.
  • Negligence – if CASA were to know that staff were bullying other staff via facebook/twitter/etc and not take any action.
  • Wrongful Dismissal – an employee gets sacked for doing bad stuff on social media and claims that they didn’t deserve it.

So how could CASA protect themselves from some of the above mentioned risks:
Step 1:  Get an awesome social media policy that lays out in black and white what staff can and cannot do on social media.
Step 2:  Make sure that staff know that it’s there.  One of those dreaded company wide emails may need to be sent, or an announcement could be made on the company’s intranet.
Step 3:  Copies off all of the posts to the company twitter account and social network will need to be kept.  This is necessary if something does go wrong and they need evidence.
Step 4:  Enforce the social media policy.

Simple in theory, maybe not so easy in practice, but I think that it’s worth the risk.

References: 

Legal Risks of Social Networking for Business

Sydney Morning Herald: Using Social Media? Know your legal risks

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)

Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

Defamation Act 2005 (QLD)

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

CASA Website

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Enterprise 2.0: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

That almost sounds like a some sort of a western/sci-fi cross-over movie title don’t you think?  ENTERPRISE 2.0:  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  What happens when one organisation travels into the dark and unknowing world of social media?  What terrifying situations will they encounter along the way?  Are they prepared for what awaits them?  Will the tools that they have be enough to protect them from harm?  Will they make it out alive with their reputation in tact?  Find out next month when ENTERPRISE 2.0 comes to your workplace.

Alright, back to reality now.  So the big question is, what does the average company have to gain from throwing out their old procedures and techniques in favour of new shiny Web 2.0 tools?  Well people a lot smart than I am (always happy to give credit where credit is due) have determined that the main positives associated with implementing Enterprise 2.0 are; Knowledge, Reputation, Staff Engagement and Productivity and Efficiency (Ross Dawson, 2009).  So how can we translate these into something that we can relate to?

Knowledge:

So honestly, how many times have you come in to work to find one of your co-workers working away feverishly trying to solve a problem and the following conversation has followed:

YOU:  “Hey {insert name of frustrated co-worker here}, what’s the problem?”
THEM:  “Oh, I’ve just spent the past hour trying to figure out how to fix {insert technical problem here}.”
YOU:  “That’s easy, all you need to do is {insert blindingly obvious solution to their problem here}.
THEM:  *Look of utter disbelieve with mouth wide open*

Now, imagine if that really great piece of information was not just held captive in your skull, but was easily available to your fellow co-workers.  If your organisation made use of Web 2.0 technologies and made a wiki available so that staff could add important information so that everybody could access it easily, then you’d all do your jobs an awful lot better.  And not only that, when people left the organisation or moved within teams, their knowledge would not be lost, it would be stored forever in a place where it could benefit others.

The Motorola case study is an excellent example of how beneficial implementing Enterprise 2.0 can be for an organisation.

Productivity & Efficiency:

Ok, I’m going to draw on my post from last week for this one.  Remember me talking about how my organisation currently uses a manual logging system for all significant events?  Of course you do.  Well also remember how I mentioned how great it would be if we could instead use a blog to keep track of all these events?  Now depending on the length of the log entry, it is quite possible to assume that the amount of time required to actually make the entry could be comparable, BUT, the purpose of a log is to create a timeline of events that can be referred to in the future.  Making these references would be so much more efficient if I could simple type into a search engine “Brisbane internet outage” for example, and have every reference for this event magically appear in front of my eyes.  Productivity and efficiency win.  Nice.

However, despite all of the wonderful things that Enterprise 2.0 can potentially bring to a organisation, every rose has it’s thorns, and there are unfortunately a couple of risks as well.  These just so happen to be Security, Resources, Loss of Control, Reputation, Reliability and Productivity (Ross Dawson, 2009) <– Thanks again Ross.

Reputation

Gee whiz, if an organisation gets it wrong when it comes to Enterprise 2.0, they really get it wrong don’t they?  Who else remembers the Twitter storms that surrounded Qantas, McDonalds and Coles (just to name a few) a little while back?  The proverbial really hit the fan then didn’t it?  If you don’t quite remember, let me refresh your memory:

Qantas

McDonalds

Coles

Companies really have to be so careful when they are putting their reputation in the hands of anonymous Internet users.  However, in such cases where things do go terribly wrong, it is a great opportunity for an organisation to take the criticism they have received, and see what they can do about fixing the issues causing it.

Productivity

So you’ve got the potential to enhance staff productivity by implementing Enterprise 2.0, but you can also reduce it.  How so?  Well, a picture speaks a thousand words:

Yes, some staff, if you give them and inch, they will take a mile.  I remember when I was at my old job and management removed Solitaire from the computers because staff were wasting too much time playing games.  So imagine the impact that giving staff access to Twitter and chat rooms and blogs and social media could have.  However, a properly worded and adequately enforced social media policy could help keep this in check.

“A recent worldwide study of social networking in the workplace shows that 43% of employers surveyed said they are dealing with misuse of social networking sites by employees. The problem is made worse because organisations are increasingly turning to social media tools as part of their overall marketing strategy, so it has become difficult for many organisations to block social media access altogether. Many try to deal with employee productivity loss dues to social media at work by incorporating it into their AUP. While this should be the first step for all organisations, establishing policy and enforcing policy are two different issues.”  (Edgewave, 2012)

In my opinion, the potential gains to be achieved from implementing enterprise 2.0 far outweigh the possible problems that may be encountered.  It’s just a matter of being careful and making sure that adequate research is undertaken first.   Staff need to be given the chance to feel out the new technology and need to be made aware of what is acceptable and what is not and when lines are crossed, more often than not, other staff will bring the few rogues into line.

So in the interest of research:

References:

Edgewave: Employee Productivity. (2012)

A Collection of 50+ Enterprise 2.0 Case Studies and Examples

Sydney Morning Herald: Companies Face Up to Facebook Hits and Misses

ABC News: ‘McDialysis? I’m Loving it!’: McDonald’s Twitter Promo Fail

news.com.au : Coles Twitter Campaign Leads to Storm of Comments

ABC News: Qantas Twitter Hashtag Baacfires

Ross Dawson (2009)  Implementing Enterprise 2.0

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Don’t Ask What You Can Do For Web 2.0, Ask What Web 2.0 Can Do For You

Well hello there. Nice to see that you have chosen to return for another dose of my blog. Hopefully your visit will be a pleasurable one. So….this weeks blogging topic….well as we all know, I’m fairly new to all of this Web 2.0 stuff so I have chosen to undertake task a) and do some serious research on Web 2.0 tools, to find out just how useful they can be. Just in case you were wondering, I’m not completely Web 2.0 challenged, yes I do have a facebook account, but up until 2 weeks ago, I didn’t have a twitter account, I’d never blogged before and I thought that del.icio.us was an awesome Australian cooking magazine. Yes I know, shock, horror, no Twitter.

How on earth could I function as a human being without Twitter? Well, to this day I still cannot answer this question, it is one of the great mysteries of the universe. However, I am sure that some time, in the not too distant future, I’ll be wondering how I ever did without it. And this is not just because I will now find out in real-time exactly what Ashton Kutcher and R-Patz are up to. No my friends, it is due to the fact that businesses worldwide are embracing the powers of Web 2.0 technologies, and it is becoming increasingly necessary to have a finger in all of the social networking pies.

So in order to broaden my knowledge for both my benefit and yours (we’re learning together now don’t forget), I did me some reading. Actually, I did a lot of reading and I subscribed to a few websites (geeze, my digital fingerprint is all over the shop now) and I became quite well acquainted with the big, bad world of Web 2.0 tools. So how can all of these wonderful tools help me?

Well, first things first;
Brief background check: I am currently employed in a 24×7 shift position responsible for network monitoring and maintenance.
Next;
How is this relevant?:

  • My team is required to keep a logbook of all of the important events that happen during each of our shifts so that other members of the team can make reference to things that happened when they were on working. It is also required for auditing purposes.
  • There are a lot of information repositories that we can go to, to gather the information we need to assess network faults and failures so that we can fix the problem ASAP.
  • We have an aging work force who are all retiring at a rate of knots and are taking with them all of their knowledge and experiences.
  • We handle a large number of outage notifications from both external providers and internal groups.

And finally;
What does this have to do with the Web 2.0 tools and how can they help me?:

NOTE: Despite how daggy this is going to sound, I am currently overcome with excitement because of how much easier my job would become if I could convince my manager to consider implementing some of these tools. I’m having pathetic teenage girl daydreams about how happy my life would be if I could just have some of these things in it.

Ahem. So yes, back to the task at hand:

  • BLOGS – It would be exceptionally helpful if the manual logging that we are required to do could be implemented in the form of a blog. If not just for the simplicity of typing a description of the event that took place rather than writing it in a book, but for searching for previous events. It is very tedious flipping through pages of poor handwriting looking for references to things that happened days ago.
  • TAGGING – Very handy for referencing things in the potential logbook Blog. It would make searches for past events very, very quick and easy. (I have now implemented this is my Blog, making your searching efforts all the more simpler. Well done me.)
  • SOCIAL BOOKMARKING – I like this idea a lot too. I signed myself up to del.icio.us so I could find out exactly what this is all about, and I think that this would be a wonderful tool for any organisation. At present, whenever we come across a document, diagram or a file that could be of use to the team, we broadcast an email to everyone letting them know how awesome it is and all we end up with is an inbox full of rubbish and the odd bookmark or file copy for future reference. It would be so much more convenient for each team member to have an account that we could each subscribe to which contains helpful links. Love this idea and I think that I’m going to start using it to give you guys access to some of the links that I have found useful.
  • WIKIs – A wiki would be a great tool for staff to use to share information with each other. It could be very handy for knowledge management. On a side note, when I was working in my old team, we did maintain a wiki for the management of outage notifications from our external providers. I would like to possibly get this going again. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with this project.
  • RSS – Great way of letting other staff members know when you’ve updated and blog, wiki or bookmarked a new document. This would be a great alternative to the dreaded broadcast email.

So why do you care?

  • Well, I find it very hard to believe that all companies have jumped on the Enterprise 2.0 bandwagon. I’m sure some of you can relate to some of the above points that I have made.
  • Maybe if we arm ourselves with the right knowledge, we can get some of the above Web 2.0 tools implemented in our workplaces for the benefit of not just ourselves, but the companies that we work for.

References:

Wikipedia:

  • Web 2.0
  • Enterprise 2.0
  • Wikis
  • Social Networking Services
  • Twitter
  • Blog
  • RSS
  • Social Media
  • Tagging
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