Jeff Bennett: How Businesses Can Benefit From Social Networking

We hear a lot of prognostication from the consultants about how business can benefit from social networking, but not as much when it comes to actual businesses that are using it.  Jeff Bennett, COO of Namemedia, Inc. blogs on this topic and gives real examples of how we’re (Disclosure: I’m a Senior Software Engineer at NameMedia) using social networking within out company.

Businesses need to foster enhanced methods for employees to communicate. Lotus Notes was the standard for early collaboration, but there is opportunity to enhance the ways for employees to connect and collaborate with more transparency. At our company, NameMedia, we have enhanced communication and collaboration with with our Twiki, which is a wiki application allowing for employee databases, personal pages, schedules, work flow and more. There are so many additional ways this can be deployed and other tools to be added for sharing information, enhancing collaboration and improving productivity.

As a developer, it’s easy for me to know what’s coming up for release, because the release engineering schedule is in the Twiki.  We’re of course using a ticketing system (Jira) for deficiency and task monitoring; but more over as a process control that allows us to control exactly what is getting pushed to our myriad of live sites (NameMedia owns something on the order of 900,000 domains).  We work remotely with coworkers in the Ukraine, the United Kingdom and around the United States via skype, plus our own internal IM system.

It’s true, we do use these tools throughout our daily worklife, but even more, we’re constantly looking for new ways to work more efficiently.  We’re currently looking for a better way to manage our work flow and documentation and will probably end up with something that integrates completely with Jira.  I’m hoping evaluate Yammer in the coming weeks as a means of keeping up with the current tasks our disparate workforce is handling.

You’ll want to add Jeff to your regular reading schedule, he brings a voice of experience, not just theory.

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