I was chatting to Marc Wright the other day about about the potential internal uses of social networking software - basically building internal sites like MySpace, Facebook, MyRagan and Melcrum's Communicator's Network to connect employees.
We both got really fired up about the enormous potential these tools offer for business leaders and communicators - to enhance communication flow, to boost employee knowledge and to drive organizational performance. Put simply, we believe they have the potential to revolutionize employee communication.
Then we got to the $64,000 question - who out there is already doing it? Beyond some of the big hi tech companies and a handful of innovative firms like Dow Chemical and Accenture, we couldn't think of many.
So I was delighted to see this piece in Tuesday's FT explaining how the US intelligence community is about to get its own MySpace. The CIA has already used Facebook for recruitment and the Department of National Intelligence has created a wikipedia-like tool for internal knowledge sharing. So, whilst there may be very few good examples in the corporate world as yet, it seems that other unexpected types of organization are seeing the light.
This is a sure sign of things to come - I'd wager that within a decade social networking tools, or something very similar, will be commonplace inside large organizations. Where spies tread today, CEOs will follow...