Social Networking at Dunder Mifflin
Posted on April 29, 2008
by Joel Oleson
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I was watching an episode of The Office (one of my favorite shows) and the background is they are in a meeting and discussing the new web site.
Apparently the social networking feature of the Dunder Mifflin Infinity web site was infiltrated by sexual predators. Then Dwight pops up and says he doesn’t understand why the site needs social networking features at all, and others agree including Jim. Ryan, the previous intern turned executive, explains it’s for a one stop shop experience, you’re chatting about music or the election and all that’s happening on the virtual paper store.
Let me suggest another answer, I think his explanation is really missing the vision. It’s not about the common chat on the web site, but more having real experiences that integrate with the products or content on the site, not simply enabling services that consumers will use, but integrating features that support your products and vision. If you have a paper company there are more relevant ways of integrating social networking or web 2.0 experiences. Here are a few ideas…
Chat for example is integrated for interactive and immediate support or for presence integration for quick access to the document or site authors and contributors.
Forums are integrated for community and allow real feedback. MVPs or champions or moderators and even end users can flag content as inappropriate. With content filtering such as with Sybari Antigen could scan and block content from being uploaded. Approval and/or workflows is another way to prevent content from being allowed.
Blogs do allow expression and I do encourage policies based on existing policies in the handbook for acceptible use policies for example. Blogs are very real time, so moderation or review is recommended.
Wikis in corporations are usually not anonymous and have real tracking. Even wikis on the internet most often have accounts associated with them, so those that contribute false information can be tracked and disciplined based on policies.
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