Time Gentlemen Please – Update Your Profiles

It’s been an interesting week. I’ve been thinking about what a Facebook for the corporation will look like and what it might contain. Some companies already have places for their employees to maintain a profile highlighting their role, function, ambitions, interests, strengths etc. Other companies are looking at how they might best provide somewhere for employees to kick start some internal social networking.

So if you do have somewhere for these profiles, how to you encourage people to utilize them? You’d hope that most people would see the benefit and fill them in, maintain them and leverage them on the basis of making new connections and finding new opportunities. However it’s clear there will be a need for some kind of mandate or guidelines about keeping a current profile. Most people will be fine with this, but some may start to weigh up the pro’s and cons of keeping a) their internal profile current, or b) keeping their external profile current.

So where do you invest the time? Your LinkedIn profile, Facebook Profile, or the one at the your place of employment? You can see there might be a conflict in keeping key ‘common’ information up to date.

In steps OpenSocial, see my last post. Savvy and brave developers/implementers of enterprise profile/social networking applications can potentially use the OpenSocial API’s to allow users to syndicate in key information from their external profiles. This would kick start any new profile, allow the user to maintain one profile and syndicate the content to the other(s). I say potentially as I’m not clear on exactly how all this will pan out and whether a developer could create a standalone behnid the firewall app using the API’s. Anyone know?

Personally I’d like to have the ability to expose my work history and description fields from LinkedIn into my corporate (behind the firewall) profile. I’d see instant benefit from doing this and I wouldn’t have to make a choice of keeping one up to date over the other.

There are of course some things to think about such as confidentiality and security concerns, but I think there is definite merit in syndicating chosen external social networking information into your corporate profile.

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