Actually, I mean "More on Facebook," but as I was once accused of using fancy headlines to draw clicks (to this site with no advertising), I thought I would play the part and see if that behavior makes any difference. Tongue is firmly encheeked. Also, this isn't about Facebook at all. Not really. I opined recently that the problem with asking: "Why isn't our enterprise platform as easy to use as Facebook" is that we use these platforms for vastly different purposes. In fact, if we structured work to be social and collaborative - more aligned with our natural approach to interactions - then we would suffer a higher threshold of frustration regarding the technology in order to connect and engage. After all, as easy as Facebook appears to be (acutely aware that I am an ex-pat when it comes to Facebook): it can be aggravating and frustrating. But because we (by this I mean you) are willing to engage, the aggravations are accepted and overcome.

When I wrote that post, I asked that if we had a workplace that required the types of interactions that are central to Facebook - perhaps the adoption for enterprise collaboration software would increase. Change the work approach, and the tool is no longer such a barrier.

I'm beginning to think this was a partial answer. At best. There is another aspect to this, which I explored with a gentleman last week: There is a clear difference between systems of engagement and systems of purpose. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., are all designed to be sticky. They just need you to spend time on the site. They dazzle and tease, but are designed principally to engage you. At work, however we may restructure it - we are trying to get something done.

So enterprise collaboration platforms cannot be just places to become engaged. Yammer does a good job at this, but if you spend all your time on Yammer - chances are you are not getting work done. Unless your job is to increase Yammer adoption. Enterprise collaboration platforms need to be answer the requirements to become systems of purpose. 500+ connections, joining the LION club, or increasing your Klout score: these do not solve any business need. These platforms need to also provide a way to work. Templates, project workspaces, forms, integration with productivity suites, etc. These characterize the enterprise collaboration platform. Add in the ability to work with partners and clients, and you can see that a focus on purposeful interaction rather than interaction for its own sake leads to very different solutions.

Just thought I'd let technology off the hook for once.

3 Comments