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Do you know?

1. There are 120,000 tweets per minute which equates to 172.8 million per day
2. Facebook claims 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 are added each minute
3. Slideshare is the largest social content network with over 60 million visitors per month and 130 million page views.

Why is this phenomena occurring? Have end users been empowered to make their written voice heard and shared with potentially millions of people? How does this personal empowerment transfer to business? As social media and collaboration becomes more ubiquitous organizations are now facing new challenges.

An article in Computerworld, Security Manager’s Journal: “Sensitive company data gets released into the wild” brings home the point quite clearly. The net of the situation was a confidential product presentation had been posted on SlideShare.net, without corporate authorization. SlideShare.net would not remove it because the Security Manager at the company had not posted it. This forced the legal department to file a request through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to have it removed. Because the company did not have all the technical controls in place due to costs they have resorted to stern messages and training to end users. Of course training end users is a requirement. On the other hand, an organization typically does not have the time or money to track social networking sites for potential posting of company confidential information. Unfortunately, 70% of data breaches are due to end user error or malicious intent. It’s very easy to compromise an organization’s integrity and can cause irreparable harm depending on the confidential information made available via social networking.

Social networking tools that encourage collaboration can link employees, partner, suppliers, and customers to share information is becoming a useful tool for business communication. The primary business benefits of these collaboration and social tools are also accompanied by inherent weaknesses. There are several concerns such as security, unauthorized use, and communication noise. The result of high use has has also seen a surge in unstructured content.

There are several excellent uses of social networking tools used internally or externally in the organization. The problem is control, 54% of CIO’s forbid the use of social networking tools (Gaudin, 2009). Yet they can also achieve benefits to the organization in applications such as project collaboration, awareness of organizational knowledge, employee induction and training, expertise location, communities of interest, collective intelligence, and innovation management.

One of the biggest weaknesses is losing control of content and a lack of control. Organizations spend a considerable amount of time and money to build a strong and consistent brand. For better or for worse, that brand can be jeopardized by opening it up to uncontrolled communication.

Building block six Enterprise 2.0 in our Smart Content Framework™. Knowledge workers are creating and storing content at an unprecedented rate, and not only in the traditional authoring scenarios but also media and video applications. This building block provides control over the chaos and can be used to structure internal Enterprise 2.0 applications as well as identify and protect content to assist in mitigating exposures.

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