You Don’t Want Facebook for the Enterprise

You Don’t Want Facebook for the Enterprise

Facebook has no place in the enterprise.

As enterprise social technologies first arrived in the workplace they needed a way to express what they did. At that time the most direct analogy was to exclaim that the tools were “Facebook for the Enterprise”. A more appropriate analogy is needed. For our organizations to succeed we want a “LinkedIn for the Enterprise”.

A quick examination of the DNA of the tools quickly reveals why this makes sense – it boils down to Personal Relationships vs Domains of Expertise. In a recent post by AIIM Blogging Expert Bertrand Duperrin he accurately proposes that “Web 2.0 is about people and Enterprise 2.0 is about employees”. An employee is judged on their achievement against domain specific goals and practices. Let’s dive down into three concrete examples that highlight the value of centering enterprise social solutions around Domains of Expertise.

Example 1 – Mission
LinkedIn: “Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful … your success as a professional and your competitiveness as a company depends upon faster access to insight and resources you can trust.” – http://press.linkedin.com/about

Facebook: “Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.” – http://www.facebook.com/facebook?ref=pf#!/facebook?v=info&ref=pf

Example 2 – Knowledge Sharing
LinkedIn: Forums, news and updates centered on specific domains related to a user’s Domain. LinkedIn has a high signal to noise ratio.

Facebook: Personal photos, videos, messages. Facebook has a low signal to noise ratio.

Example 3 – Applications
LinkedIn: LinkedIn does not support user developed applications directly within its interface, but provides a stock portfolio of applications. Some examples are Polls, Reading List by Amazon, Blog Link, Google Presentations and Huddle Workspaces – http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=application_directory

Facebook: Supports a wide range of user generated applications. The most popular are FarmVille, Texas HoldEm Poker, Birthday Cards and Treasure Isle – http://www.facebook.com/apps/directory.php

Facebook has done a tremendous amount to popularize formal social networking, but tosupport an organization’s business we need something smart and relevant. If someone steps back to think about social networking in the context of the workplace, the proper analogous tool from the commercial web becomes exceedingly clear. We want a LinkedIn for the enterprise.