I want to periodically keep up the thinking about the positive benefits of social networking and social media. My interest is both personal and professional. I view social networking, used in the most effective manner, to be of enormous benefit to business and government within the workplace environment. And, like most things, the value of the tool has to be considered within the workplace context and by the manner in which it is used.
I blogged a month ago about Euan Semple giving a series of short interviews on specific topics about social media. Euan gave some very good reasons as to how and why social media is good for the workplace. To complement the sentiments from those vignettes, I want to draw your attention to a simple but very valuable explanation as to why social networking is good for business.
This time, I want to illustrate the point using Seth Godin’s explanation via Youtube on why social networking is good for business. I recommend you view the clip.
Essentially, social networking is good for business because it facilitates the establishing of effective relationships based on trust and reciprocity. According to Godin, you can’t count the worth of social networking by the numbers – it’s the quality of the relationships that give the greatest meaning to social networks and that’s where the value sits.
If we accept Dunbar’s number, we could say 150 people was the upper limit to effective realtionships. It is important to maintain authenticity and depth of interaction within these relationships. I certainly agree, albeit I am conscious that even weak ties within a network may be useful at times, especially in response to specific questions or where making use of the collective intelligence can be harnessed. The difference here is the emphasis on social (indicating interactions at a greater level of personal intensity) than a traditional online network, such as LinkedIn.
As with most things, use and purpose are critical dimensions to the effectiveness of social networking.