When it comes to enterprise collaboration and social software, LinkedIn rules the roost, according to a CMS Watch report. LinkedIn is apparently more effective at meeting the requirements of social computing the enterprise environment demands.
While social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are tailored to keeping you in touch with your friends and family, LinkedIn is perceived as being "more professional" for business users.
Social Networking In General
Social networking is one of the hot topics in the web 2.0 space. Sites like MySpace and Facebook have been in a horse race to grow numbers, usage and the advertising dollars. Facebook is the current leader and recently reported a rapidly growing membership of 150 million.
The Facebook platform received a huge shot in the arm last summer, when the social networking company launched Facebook applications. These web-centric applications extend Facebook's functionality and allow Facebook to interface with other web companies and user data housed there.
LinkedIn initially started as a way to keep in touch with co-workers and colleagues, but has recently expanded as well. LinkedIn also adopted third-party applications to extend their social networking services, while their user base has seen steady and consistent growth.
What Sets LinkedIn Apart?
To gauge the effectiveness of enterprise social networking sites, CMS Watch took 11 potential use-cases and trialed them with 26 social networking platforms. Amongst them are Jive's ClearSpace, Drupal, SocialText, Ning, Microsoft SharePoint, Facebook, LinkedIn and Telligent. Specifically, LinkedIn excelled in the "Professional Networking" and "Community of Practice Scenarios."
With any enterprise computing platform, security is always a corporate concern. To this end, LinkedIn users can be filtered and pre-authorized based on their e-mail address. Therefore, enterprises can have the capability of building control around discussion boards and link-sharing areas by e-mail domain.
Additionally, LinkedIn has been very selective on the types of applications they have launched on their service. The opposite is true with Facebook, where almost any developer can build and launch a Facebook-capable application.
Looking at the LinkedIn applications, one can easily tell they are enterprise focused. Examples include TripIt, a service aimed at centralizing business travel information. Additionally, the SlideShare application can be found on LinkedIn in addition to Huddle, an application that allows for file sharing and collaboration.
Security Concerns Abound
Even though these mediocre security filters and capabilities exist inside LinkedIn, we suggest companies think hard before placing mission critical data on any social networking site. Instead, expose a social networking facility such as MOSS or Jive ClearSpace that exist behind your firewall so workers and colleagues can interface on corporate resources. This way, your company can monitor and enforce your enterprise security controls and workflows.
Does your company or workgroup use social networking sites to conduct business? What have your experiences been like? Let us know.