Social Enterprise

Online social networking, an extension to human evolution?


Robin Dunbar, the British anthropologist and an influential practitioner of evolutionary psychology, authored a book in which he contended that language was perhaps invented to enable human beings to better establish mutual relationships. A similar analogy can be applied to the relevance of social networks today.

Social networking as evolution

In this article at the MSNBC, Michael Rogers suggests that perhaps the same analogy can be applied to current trends in social networking on the Internet. This is just another evolutionary step in an attempt to increase the numbers in the "group" that one can constantly be connected with.

Social networking is in its infancy, but there are certain significant stages that it has already passed through. The posts at Social Degree (Part 1 and Part 2) detail the various phases that have marked the evolution of social networks as we know them today. From "open to all" networks to demographic and subject-based classifications to the future progressions of social networking through mobiles and profile integration services. Social networking in the enterprise


One major issue that comes up when social networks are discussed is its perceived value within an enterprise. From the employee perspective, it can be viewed as a positive factor. However, on the other side is the contention that social networks are the cause of a reduction in productivity. Just recently, there was a huge uproar over banning Facebook in the office environment. The relation between social networking and human evolution would indeed make an interesting study.

How does your organization view the emerging trends in social networking? Are they being incorporated in the organization or blanketed out?

8 comments
kpkobza
kpkobza

Distinguish between social networks in the enterprise built for social purposes and peer to peer networks, and enterprise social networks built with structured technologies for deliberative purposes. Enterprise social networks can of course have a social dimension. The purpose of the network affects the structure with which it is built. This distinction will enable the ability to distinguish between high value communities and communities without purpose. Crossing the threshold of valuing collective intelligence and architecting the network to provide collective intelligence is the key. kpkobza.

pandreas
pandreas

Edited Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

tsimon
tsimon

I have been developing a web based virtual workplace integrating social networking, CRM, workflow, training and project management since 1997. For a long time it seemed there was little interest in this at the US corporate level. Most of my work was in Europe, where it was easier to sell our platform. Our web site is http://www.iprismglobal.com. I have a lot of projects starting and am looking for people who can work with us. We are creating a network of virtual team members. Please contact if this interests you.

wmlundine
wmlundine

...is replacing P2P as the leading vector of malware. We do not currently block but I would like to. As far as the connection between evolution and social networking, I think that is false. First of all, evolution refers to "natural" selection. Economic embargo, war and other man-made sanctions have long since replaced "natural selection" as deterministic natural selective processes. If you choose to call that evolution, you range far afield of what Darwin proposed.

morshan
morshan

I have put several social networks together over the past year. What I have realized is the future importance of putting a stake in the ground and IDENTIFYING ourselves with a PRIMARY IDENTITY. This will be the place that unified messaging, real focused advertising, and many more services, based on your identity, will be delivered. Are you a parent in a community, part of national real estate group, part of the Harvard Club, etc. These answers will push you towards your primary identity. It will be in these social networks where you will find the highest value of services. The challenge now is to create, form and attract people to your networks. At all levels, including the enterprise. Huge revenues will be delivered once these large, sometimes private, networks are in place. Mike morshan@marsound.com

pr.arun
pr.arun

How does your organization view the emerging trends in social networking? Are they being incorporated in the the organization or blanketed out?

pandreas
pandreas

Edited Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I have done nothing with social networking, either personally or professionally. From my non-experienced viewpoint it looks like just another fad, the successor to ISP pre-configured personal web pages or blogs. "...importance of putting a stake in the ground and IDENTIFYING ourselves with a PRIMARY IDENTITY." Why do you feel they are important? "It will be in these social networks where you will find the highest value of services." What services does a social network provide? "Huge revenues will be delivered once these large, sometimes private, networks are in place." How does a social network drive revenues? I notice that many companies are reconsidering their Second Life presence. Am I incorrect in thinking of Second Life as a social network? Oh, and we block social web sites where I work.