The firewall: Inside v. Outside

November 4, 2008 — Leave a comment

It’s great to see that Connections, or something of its ilk, has finally arrived.  It’s surreal (good surreal) writing blogs, posting profile information, tagging people and pages INSIDE the firewall.  We’re finally getting on the bandwagon, right?  Go team!

As I continue to set up shop in Connections, however, I’m starting to get a sense of the complexity social networking inside the firewall might bring to what I like to think of as my connected life – Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, SlideRocket, FriendFeed, Brightkite, Snurl, and other assorted blogs and podcasts.  I put a lot of time into keeping things organized, consistent and current out there…it’s almost like managing yourself as a brand (see David Armano’s BrandU.0 presentation).  Believe it or not, there’s real value to keeping consistent across all of these sites – even if it’s just your profile picture. 

So, now what? 

  • Do I Twitter or Yammer?  There are only four employees registered with Yammer, so I think that answer is easy for now.
  • Dogear or Delicious? Took me over an hour to import my Delicious bookmarks into Dogear (maybe I missed something).  But now, when I want to add a link where do I put it?  Both? OK, not out of the question for one application, but what about all of them?
  • What about Widgets? Facebook or Connections Profile or iGoogle? Will we be able to put widgets on our Connections profile page?
  • What about LinkedIn?  They just came back from the brink of irrelevancy with some major announcements this week.  And they already store the type of information that we could develop a skills database from without starting from scratch.

The point I’m trying to make here is that the line separating Inside from Outside is blurry.  Blurring it even further is the population of employees that already participate on the outside.  Let’s look at Facebook – search for company name and here’s what you get:

  • 29 Events
  • 63 Groups
  • 500+ Profiles.

Let’s do the same search for LinkedIn….actually, why don’t you do that search?  From the looks of things, you’ve already got an account.  FYI, LinkedIn lists almost 4,000 of our jobs.


(for the brief remainder of this post I will assume that security doesn’t exist…………I know)

This Enterprise2.0 effort to connect our employees is best served by being as ‘open’ as possible.  The more we can take advantage of that blurred line the more value there is.  Reducing duplication of effort will lower barriers to entry and push this effort forward on the already existing equity employees have made on the Outside.  Certainly, the more social an employee is the bigger the payoff, but even for a casual user who just wants to keep their bookmarks consistent there is value.


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