What’s the difference between business and social content?

None … no, really! If you deploy social media tools in an enterprise setting (i.e. as business tools), then ALL the content within them is business content … including stuff about cars, cats and football. It has to be governed as business content and the business value has to be recognised.

I mentioned in my one-but-last-post about social media tools being symbolic permission to be fully yourself in a work context – with personality, opinions, flaws etc. Being a fully-rounded person all day everyday – rather than just outside of work – allows us to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships at work and provides a powerful mechanism to connect us together with people from the other side of the globe – or the other side of the partition – with whom we have no existing relationship.

So what of the dangers of employees ‘time-wasting’ publishing so-called social content instead of ‘working’? Firstly, the workplace is already full of ways to waste time … time-wasters will waste time with or without collaborative tools; secondly, that’s what we have performance management systems for – to ensure employees are performing in line with an organisation’s expectations; and finally, line management is supposed to be about managing people and tasks … how many more safeguards do you need??

Companies are just groups of people; people are sociable and thrive in sociable spaces; social spaces are attractive, welcoming places where people can create, relate and innovate … so, lets lose our hang-ups about ‘social’ content and recognise it for what it really is … here endeth the lesson! 🙂


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