What is the right relationship model for social apps within the enterprise?

I was linked this morning towards an article of the BusinessWeek that is discussing some statements of Socialtext CEO Eugene Lee about the preferable model of relationship for internal social applications.

SocialText CEO Eugene Lee argues that Twitter might be a better model than Facebook for next-gen communications within companies, so-called Enterprise 2.0. Facebook’s trouble? Reciprocal friending. The problem, he says, is that employees on corporate social networks start collecting friendships of execs. “Because the Rolodex is public, it becomes a matter of VP trading cards.”

A preferable model for corporate relationships, he says, is Twitter, where people lend their attention, not necessarily their friendship. In SocialText’s Twitter-like corporate offering, Signals , more people are likely to “follow” the CEO—assuming he or she has anything interesting to Tweet.

Despite the sales context of this statement I cannot agree more on this. As the objective of social apps within the enterprise is to increase transparency we need to inhibit any situation of asynchronous information. And refused reciprocal relations create asynchronous information. So "following" shows already my interest and my "trust" as well as recognition of any kind of "authority" of the followed person – but to refuse someone "following" me is to hindering him/her to get information he/she is interested in.

On the other hand there might be staff members that share some kind of "non public" information e.g. some R&D folks – how to proceed with these. Are the enterprises already ready for the full transparent information flow? Especially as the non-transparent competitor next door is just waiting to expose some competitive information and advantages?

What are your thoughts on this?


  1. maricela morales says:

    your question seems framed only around these two tools and Lee’s comment “might be better” points out that we still don’t have the best solution. twitter reflects more the real live hierarchical structure of a company with regards to following someone you grant some level of authority or who has it by their position within the structure, BUT isn’t the idea of social networking to provide a more equal model vs the boss/employee? How about pushing a business model for twitter (since it is better) towards the knowledge like not follow, but exchanging…?

  2. maricela morales says:

    your question seems framed only around these two tools and Lee’s comment “might be better” points out that we still don’t have the best solution. twitter reflects more the real live hierarchical structure of a company with regards to following someone you grant some level of authority or who has it by their position within the structure, BUT isn’t the idea of social networking to provide a more equal model vs the boss/employee? How about pushing a business model for twitter (since it is better) towards the knowledge like not follow, but exchanging…?

  3. Faisal Asif says:

    Great article, it really made me think about the other side of creating transparencies between businesses, that’s a plus point that removing transparencies between businesses would boost performances & efficiencies but at the same time it’s a draw back or rather it doubles the competition between two competitors.

  4. Faisal Asif says:

    Great article, it really made me think about the other side of creating transparencies between businesses, that’s a plus point that removing transparencies between businesses would boost performances & efficiencies but at the same time it’s a draw back or rather it doubles the competition between two competitors.











Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *