Imagine that all these tools we use regularly were adopted inside a corporate setting. How would work be different? What would be the new use cases? How could you keep Corporate IT happy, productivity high, and complexity low? Here’s a rough sketch of how I imagine some of it working, performed “in media res,” as if this is all implemented and I’m merely reporting what I observe visiting this mid-sized enterprise company. I’ll annotate a bit, just in case. Note: all of this stuff technically works today, but requires integration assistance.
Sonia gets in early, and slots her cell phone in the charger caddy at a free work zone. The nearby desktop VoIP phone smells Sonia’s phone via Bluetooth, and adapts to receive Sonia’s calls. (unified communications). She pulls out her laptop to check her corporate Twitter and notes that Shashi’s bringing muffins, and that Israel will be in late judging by how late his Twittering went last night about the server mesh crashing. (Sonia’s Bluetooth tells the laptop to send SMS messages to a window there- more unified communications). She notes that her Twitter back to Shashi goes text-to-speech, and that tells her he’s driving. Good! She’s hungry.
Monday Before Lunch
Sonia videoblogs a product update for the folks at Glass Egg in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), using dotSUB to translate from English to Vietnamese. While she waits, she translates a few videos into Ukranian to keep up her social networking standards there. When the video is ready, she uploads it to her corporate Blip server, and Minh will see it on his Google Reader dashboard when he checks in a few hours. Video helps because Sonia slices in visuals to go with the dotSUB translation.
Monday After Lunch
Out of the office, Sonia spends a few hours at a coworking office that has a networking relationship with her corporate firewalls, and loads a virtual machine off a thumb drive. She does a few quick Seesmic updates for a client meeting later that week, and sees one from Israel asking her if she wants a new “skin” for her Aeron chair, holding up a sample. She logs out and checks the team news feed, notes that Minh has blogged a long ranting scrawl of text, with the most important point at the end. Check her Casgle when she gets back to home base. Sonia peeks at her local RSS and sees two audio updates in podcast form, which will be good for her run later tonight.
Sonia Pownces some CSS suggestions over to Shashi for his wife to add to the website demo site later on, and then he gives her back a new mashup of Punjabi beats with old country singers singing over it. She posts links on her blog for offtopic (so the CFO and COO don’t get bugged by it- they’ve opted out of the musical variety of mashups), and then notes that her COO’s daughter has sent a Facebook message. The message reminds Sonia about the surprise party for tonight. Sonia buys a bunch of songs from iTunes using the COO’s Last.fm Facebook app as a guide, so she’ll have appropriate party music for later that night.
Monday Late Afternoon
Israel reports another crash of the virtual environment, acknowledging that its their code, not the virtualization software. He Twitters the outage, piece by piece internally, and gives his multi-status app (custom) a public report that the servers are acting wonky. It goes out to Twitter, Facebook, Jaiku, Pownce, and onto the corporate Tumblr blog, which is just a thin RSS sliver of status alongside the regular blog. Israel drops regular Seesmic video updates to show Sonia that he’s calm and has it under control (the visual helps more than a tweet), and she feels comfy heading out to the COO’s party.
Sonia reviews her Google Reader corporate dashboard for all the RSS of everything put together all day. Shashi’s already shipped off an annotated version of the most relevant to Minh’s other team (transcribers and updaters) to build the wiki knowledge base up with the latest. Marinka in sales gets an SMS that the wiki has been modified, should she be out on a call with clients, and Sonia writes up a quick external blog post with a few choice Seesmic clips of Israel doing a Jimi Hendrix air burning guitar impression over the rack of servers that refused to properly run his bad code. Not a bad day, all in all, and the COO loved her musical choices. Natch.
In my story, Sonia and her team use a variety of social media tools in a corporate environment. There are a few threshold crosses into the wild Internet (dotSub and Facebook, for instance), but for the most part, this presumes internal, enterprise environments.
What do you think? Does it make sense? Could you see this implementation being useful at an environment you’ve worked in or work in now? What am I missing? Which technologies did I miss, and which don’t belong in the story?
Thinking of how social media impacts and potential empowers businesses is another way to consider how you might take your skills and abilities and consider implementing them. Imagine what any of these applications feel like inside a data center, under your team’s control. It could become messy quickly, or they might stay lightweight and easily manageable by most users.
What’s your take?
Photo credit, Jakob Lodwick