Could it be true? A social report from NetProspex says so, and Microsoft's Facebook-friendly Docs.com announcement certainly serves to buttress that notion.  

Microsoft, You Have Our Attention

Gary Halliwell, CEO and Co-founder of NetProspex, says his company was designed to create a dynamic directory, built by and for the community. Using this interconnectivity technology, NetProspex took a look at which companies had the most social-media-savvy employees.

“We are facilitating the conversation through social media channels, allowing B2B marketers to engage prospects, customers, and partners with a new level of insight and intelligence," said Halliwell.

Though we wouldn't say they're on top of the social pyramid solutions-wise, Microsoft's internal team ranked number one in the NetProspex May 2010 Social Media report. The report analyzed the social media behavior of employees working for some of the nation's biggest companies. eBay came in second, Amazon.com third, Walt Disney fourth, and Google trailing a little more than we expected at fifth.

Perhaps on an even more surprising note for some, (and despite its 500 million user) Facebook was surpassed by LinkedIn as the most popular social media site among the employees studied. Moreover, when NetProspex calculated each company's Twitter score (the average sum of number of followers, number of following and number of tweets) Microsoft was number one yet again, while Google hung below at number 19.  

Corporate Practices

Though most of us immediately turn to Facebook and Twitter when we think of the social Web, there are plenty out there that aren't surprised by Microsoft's position, or the fact that LinkedIn could ever be more popular than Facebook. 

"On the topic of percentage of social network membership I have to admit I’m not surprised LinkedIn far outweighs the other social networks," said Brian Osborne of Geek.com.  That’s because companies are more open to allowing employees to interact through LinkdedIn because it is considered a professional social network." 

It looks like Microsoft employee habits are being reflected in the company's solutions. Earlier this year it was announced that Outlook 2010 will integrate not only LinkedIn, but Facebook and MySpace as well. And let's not leave out the newest member of the Microsoft family, Docs.com. The application made headlines this week when it was unveiled at the Facebook f8 Developer conference, and now plenty of us are wondering whether or not Google's potential for strong-arming the enterprise is as commanding as it was once thought to be.

Successfully Mixing Oil and Water 

So long as the enterprise and the social Web stay separated, it looks like there's room for both Google and Microsoft to operate in harmony. But we all know that the gears are turning and it won't be long before these two concepts become one. In preparation of the merge, we expect to continue to see not only Google and Microsoft doing all they can to provide well-balanced solutions, but other companies and arenas as well. As we noted earlier, even the Pope is blogging and the Library of Congress is archiving Twitter

Governance and compliance challenges are no doubt what's keeping everyone from ditching the old ways for a ride on the social train, and so the push for a happy medium continues with tips and tricks for overcoming privacy-related fears

Play Time

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