In an earlier post, I provided the digitalorgs. community with a brief overview of Identi.ca and an example of our first “dent” as an enterprise 2.0 group. It will be interesting to see how we, as community can utilize Identi.ca as a collaborative tool. As this unit is centered around enterprise 2.0 and how businesses can profit from the emerging web 2 tools, I thought it would be beneficial to include a post which interrogates Identi.ca from a business perspective. The first issue to tackle here concerns Identi.ca and what sets it apart from its leading competitor…Twitter.
Lets begin by acknowledging that Twitter, of course does have a thriving community and even those who dislike Twitter appreciate the achievements which can be realised through the Twitter community.
What are the benefits of Identi.ca?
Identi.ca is an open source and open platform microblogging service which is only in its early stages. Edd Dumbill has identified some important reasons which explain Identi.ca’s value and uniqueness from Twitter.
In trying to determine the purpose and even future of microblogging in the corporate sphere, we should consider the following benefits:
- Quick communication amongst and across companies: “Employees would be able to quickly reply to colleagues regardless of the medium they use or their location for the purpose of doing things as simple as congratulating them on promotions, letting them feel more connected and part of their work-community. Smaller, more rapid communications can help to identify problems or opportunities more immediately.
- Flat communication: Communications from management that are delivered in a more organizationally flat method where employees can communicate respond through a broadcast method and be heard.
- Company Knowledge: Managers and teams could develop a better understanding of the work their team and coworkers actually do, letting mistaken ideas about processes be identified and a better understanding of obstacles be developed.
Marina Martin of the “Oh, Identi.ca” blog was skeptical of microblogging in companies for the reason of ensuring that employees aren’t using work time to socialize with friends, however, she has changed her tune and has expressed a new found appreciation for microblogging…
- “…it’s a rare employee who isn’t *also* IMing their non-work friends (and no way to allow one and block the other); interactions are one-on-one; and there’s no corporate archiving of the information (GTalk archives don’t work well here). A Laconi.ca instance within a company would solve all of these problems – encourage community/teamwork, logging answers to questions and making them searchable, and allowing any employee to pose a question to the entire organization. As long as the nature of the platform is clear – that is, there’s no obligation to keep it open all day, respond to every message, or even the READ every message – I see it as a positive in many corporate environments.”
So, to sum up, it is understood that microblogging in the corporate sphere can:
- Allow companies to have a structured message system via microblogging message indexed and searchable archives
- Enable the same level of utility as IM, but with built-in controls letting admins keep the communications inside the company.
- Offer companies a tracking tool of sorts