Social Computing Served Three Ways

This article was originally posted on April 08, 2011.

Lask week, I was privileged to attend a program at the Center for Information Management Studies (CIMS) at Babson College: “Enterprise 2.0, Social Software and Collaboration.” The program featured three excellent presentations on the theme:

Noted author Paul Gillin’s session about “the quiet revolution behind the firewall,” where he guided us through ten key business benefits of social media. The single best insight I got from this session was a quote from Kartik Hisanagar, professor of operations and information management at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business:

“Today, social networking is being thought of as a separate thing. We’ll see that fade over time, and it will become just part of the way we interact.”

Source: “Is Business-centric Social Networking a Revolution — or a Ruse?”, Knowledge@Wharton

The second session had a more academic slant to it. Professors PJ Guinan and Sal Parise reviewed their recent research. They performed over 70 interviews with social media practitioners at 50 large companies about “corporate culture and social media strategy development,” and discerned four major strategies. The results of their research are soon to be published in the Harvard Business Review, and I recommend looking out for it as a good guide to assessing your organization’s social media strategy relative to size, tolerance for risk, constraints and opportunities.

The third and final session I attended blended corporate and academic themes, as Stephen Laster, CIO of Harvard Business School, presented on the topic of “enabling the social generation” and customizing the enterprise’s response to them. He related the broad themes of convergence, consumerization, crowd-sourcing, and how “digital natives” use social tools to research, collaborate, produce and leverage content in new ways. He then proposed ways CIOs can engage these users and enable the future workforce, which broke down into:

1. Understand the possibilities (not just the risks!).
2. Partner to prioritize, and listen to the business.
3. Deliver with excellence: on time, on quality, and on budget.

The CIMS event was the first of a flurry of upcoming events tied to the theme of social computing, including:

SharePoint Saturday Boston (April 9th at Microsoft’s Waltham office), where there’s always a good assortment of content about social computing in SharePoint.

The SIM (Society for Information Management) CIO panel on social computing, April 14 at the Needham Sheraton.

Last but not least, KMA’s April webinar with NewsGator on April 20, where we’ll explore social computing capabilities native to SharePoint 2010 and how NewsGator Social Sites can help take enterprise social computing to the next level.

I hope to see you at these events! Stay social!

Originally published at



Project management, financial management, and knowledge management. Microsoft 365 aficionado. Opinions and Philly attytood are my own.

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Mike Gilronan

Project management, financial management, and knowledge management. Microsoft 365 aficionado. Opinions and Philly attytood are my own.