Was talking to a friend at the weekend who works for one of the big four as a tax advisor. Luckily for her, she was going on a business trip to the Bahamas, which would span over the weekend. Problem was, her team was coming back on the Friday and she would be stuck with the Bahaman team, who she didn’t know. Asking what they were doing at the weekend could be problematic as they might already have plans. Here is a great example of where Enterprise 2.0 could help with more productive meetings with people in a large company who you don’t know. If there was a corporate Facebook-style application, my friend could get to know her colleagues before she flew out there, so that social interaction would be a lot easier, which would lead to a more productive working relationship, and a much more productive trip.
I experienced this first hand when I went out to Varese – having interacted with Stewart, Luis and Emanuele ahead of time on Twitter and Skype, made it much easier to ‘break the ice’ and make more productive use of our limited time together.
Social software, both in the enterprise and in consumer world, is not about virtual relationships with people you never meet. It’s about reducing the friction in those relationships where you only see each other infrequently – keeping a social connection which would otherwise fade over time, meaning that you feel less inhibited to call on someone who might be able to help you, and the time you do spend physically together is more productive.