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February 26, 2009

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Adina Levin

Good point on the proliferation of profiles. What Socialtext does is allow companies to populate the profile with data from the corporate directory. Admins can choose to have some fields come from the directory, and other fields be user-entered.

On the microblogging, I agree with you that the action is much more "communication" than "publishing", and the term blogging sounds more like publishing. I used the term not because I like it but because it's common at this early date. I think "messaging" is too easily confused with email, and is sufficiently different from email that we need a different word. What other terms are you hearing? For example, Pistachio Consulting is using "microsharing".

On confidentiality, I think I blended two concepts that should be teased apart -- confidentiality and visibility. Yes, email in business can't be presumed to be confidential. But it has lower visibility than microsharing. If Bob sends an email to Alice but not me, I don't get to see that email unless Alice chooses to forward it to me. If a "Signal" is sent by someone in my network, I can see it pretty easily (though if I'm not following Bob I need to look harder).

You are very right that for Enterprise Twitter to be useful at any scale, there needs to be greatly improved tools for conversation threading, filtering, and reference. And there surely will need to be more nuance and control over permissions, compliance, and records management.

On the other hand, organizations that want benefits from social network tools will need to make some selective, deliberate and thoughtful choices that are different from the most highly restrictive "need to know" policies. For some more high-level thoughts on the relationship between social network and the org chart, see some high level thoughts on that topic, see: http://www.alevin.com/?p=1280

Brett Markin

One point FOR business microblogging is that emails are often insecure whereas enterprise microblogging is all over HTTPS. Yes, the data resides with a different company, but on the other hand, a worker sending a critical email to another company will likely have that data sent over an insecure connection at some point.
I don't know if this applies to Yammer because it is only for internal purposes. But other business microblogging such as SocialCast (http://www.socialcast.com) or Snipia (http://www.snipia.com) allows more inter-business collaboration.

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