Communications Enterprise 2.0 Intranet

What should we call ‘Intranet Social Media’?

e2We have ‘Internal Communications’ as a reasonably well-established term for what happens inside the corporation, be it in vocal, print or electronic media forms. I’ve even found a nice and almost legalistically comprehensive definition from BNET:

communication between employees or departments across all levels or divisions of an organization. Internal communication is a form of corporate communication and can be formal or informal, upward, downward, or horizontal. It can take various forms such as team briefing, interviewing, employee or works councils, meetings, memos, an intranet, newsletters, the grapevine, and reports.

A further Google on just how long the term has been in existence has proved fruitless though, Miriam Webster has no definition and the Free Dictionary reverts to a revealing and accurate comparison, that of Internal Combustion:

a process in which a substance reacts with oxygen to give heat and light [!]

All the more problematic then when we come to social media. Social media is by definition, social. It happens out there, in the public sphere on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Twitter, Countless Blogs, forums, feeds , etc., etc.,. But as I’ve pointed out before, what we don’t see a lot of, is social media behind the firewall.

What’s more, we don’t even have a proper name for internal social media, social media that lives inside the firewall. Enterprise 2.0 goes someway in the direction but it seems to me at least as being too Operations driven rather than communication and collaboration lead. It also falls into the same trap as Web 2.0 and seems to curtail the simple richness that the term ‘social media’ has. Finally, it sounds, well just a bit too grand!

I suspect for now that Enterprise 2.0 will be the dominant term, but I wonder if a new, possible neologism will arrive…maybe social medianomics or some other horrid transmutation of the English language!

Is Enterprise 2.0 OK? Or, ideas on a postcard please….

12 replies on “What should we call ‘Intranet Social Media’?”

I agree, but guess my concern is that just using the word ‘social’ doesn’t imply business. It’s like having a ‘social event’ we don’t think of a business meeting as a social event, even though it is of course.

Good point. The “social” in social media throws off the corporate types who believe it’s all fun and games and not serious enough for true communication and collaboration.

Collaborative Media? Business Networking Media? IntraSocial Media? None quite fit it right.

The search continues…

Jason Anthoine’s last blog post..Still a Freshman?

How about Collaboration 2.0?

I think whatever term is used should reflect the benefits of social media behind the firewall: increased collaboration, transparency, and employee engagement.

It creates conversations and builds community among employees.

Enterprise Community?

I’m stumped.

I’m liking some of the suggestions we’ve got going, but nothing captures what it really is.

A lot of staff in organisations complain that they don’t have a platform to make themselves heard and share their ideas. Transparency & collaboration are great words to describe internal social networking.


Justin Avery’s last blog post..How many kilos in a stone?

I think folks in our IT group are using “social computing” a lot, but that shares the same problem you mention with Enterprise 2.0. It feels more focused on the tools themselves, not necessarily how to use them.

We’re using “social media” within communications. I think it works fine since we only deal with internal tools. But it would be nice to have one good term with bigger scope.

We could, however, just co-op Enterprise 2.0. The good thing about it is that it does suggest an endpoint: a goal of seamless collaboration, sharing, and discovery, within which communication fits naturally. Besides, what good is a bunch of social tools available that no one knows about and no one knows how to use?

Jeremy Schultz’s last blog post..Big press events: Do employees care?

Also, I sometimes think a measure of success is when the technology is so ubiquitous we don’t even think of it being there, it’s just ambient. If one watches early cinema then it’s easy to see when the telephone was new and awkward – now we can’t escape them! For the digital natives entering the enterprise for the 1st time (those that get jobs) some of the antiquated practices they will encounter at some firms, will seem like they’ve joined a museum when compared to what they use at home.

I recently took a training management position at a private company. This was after three years in a University environment, consulting and creating white label virtual communities and touting the benefits of networking and collaboration through social networks for research, student portfolios, and community engagement. I took the private sector position thinking it would be an opportunity to drive intranet based social networking. Let me say that it is an uphill battle. How do you sell it? Who should drive it? The training department? IT? Organizational effectiveness? Organizational development? We have IT pushing their definition of social networking (eg. sharepoint)without identifying the appropriateness of the technology or an adoption strategy. I’m brimming with knowledge and ability to assist but can’t find the avenues for cooperation and collaboration. I’ve been desocialized.

Michael Hotrum’s last blog post..Training Materials Development:Delivery Ratio

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