Objection #1: The president of your company objects to using social media tools to facilitate the learning between employees: “All they will do is socialize!”
Answer: If that is what they do, then the wrong people have been hired. If they want to socialize they will do it anyway! In fact, they are doing it now. How? Emails (personal and business). They are the ones who take extra long breaks – the ones who catch someone in the hall and gab an inappropriate amount of time. They use instant messaging (in and out of the firewall). They email jokes.
If you have some that socialize too much then, they are doing it now. Those who work hard will use the tools correctly. Now I must say that some socializing isn’t all bad. In fact it is healthy. But it is agreed that it must be on an appropriate levevl. And most people are good about that.
So that is one answer, but that actually isn’t the answer I would give at first. The primary answer to this one has to do with personal vs. organizational usage. For example, Wikipedia is a great example of how a wiki works in real life, but not the best example of how it is used in the workplace. It IS different. Just as MySpace and Facebook are social tools in personal lives, they are not the best examples of how people interact within an organization assuming they have similar tools (granted, there are some companies that use Facebook internally, but those companies are rare and those companies are not throwing up this objection).
Most organizational tools aren’t as social as the previous examples. For example, you can’t poke another person. There normally is not a status update. There isn’t usually a spot to post your own pictures or videos on your profile page – or completely customize your profile page. Those type of things are either severely limited or non-existent in corporate tools. (Caveat: I must say here that these things are not bad or wrong, but when used correctly they can have a positive impact. But the audience I am addressing, at this point, isn’t ready to hear that.)
What do you think? What would you say?