There is much to be learned about enterprise social networking from Chatter, the collaboration system from Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM). According to this report on NetworkWorld, Chatter is likely to be dominant in business settings -- and Salesforce is also going to be enabling Chatter for as many as 20,000 attendees at the CIO Perspectives event in San Francisco.
"There's still a lot to learn, but it's been clear from the beginning that some new constraints on communication are needed when using social networking in a business environment. The goal of Chatter is to inform in a non-intrusive way, replacing maybe 10 percent of internal e-mails with a kiosk style of information disbursal. For that to work, IT leaders need to provide guidance on the content and style of communications. Users shouldn't be Tweeting on Chatter, and they shouldn't be making Facebook posts either. To keep the signal-to-noise ratio high, users need to post pithy content, not idle messages. Users also need to know where to post, particularly in a system with lots of business objects.
"On the receiving end of Chatter, users need to be selective about what they subscribe to. Managers can be quickly overwhelmed with inbound messages if they don't trim the number of feeds to the bare essentials. There will be a lot of experimentation with automation around the subscription and filtering of Chatter feeds, and I expect that someone will come up with a set of Chatter profiles that feed the habits (and attention spans) of managers and executives."