Again, as a follow up to my talk at DPI on web 2.0 technologies and government, Nicolas sent me a brief article on IBM’s internal experimentation with of Socian Networking.
Those at DPI will know that one of the reasons I believe social networking for government is important is that enables employees of massive organizations – both in terms of geography and number of employees – to find and engage with one another. As such it is a clearing house for ideas and people, helping them find and connect with one another. Hence this paragraph in the article obviously tickled my goat (yeah, I said tickled my goat):
…in a global company with nearly 400,000 employees, most people are too far away to plop down in a teammate’s cubicle or grab a cup of coffee. These social tools, IBM hopes, will provide a substitute for personal connections that flew away with globalization—and help to build and strengthen far-flung teams. “People are putting up pictures of their family, the same way they’d put them up in the cubicle,” says Joan DiMicco, one of the research scientists.
People may not think of the public service as globalized (or like IBM) but it does have over 325,000 employees spread out over 3 and half time zones across a 5,187 km axis east to west. That’s pretty globalized and IBM-like right there.