Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Social Networks Update

Back in the end of July, I posted a story: Does anyone know ____?: CRM vs. LinkedIn vs. Facebook comparing the features and powers of three social network tools that I use. One aspect of the post was the number of people I knew in each system.

InterAction is the firm's Contact Relationship Management software. In the system I am identified as knowing 1362 people, up from 1300 on July 23. The system can identify who knows who so it is a social network tool. This includes people inside and outside the firm.

In LinkedIn, I now have 114 "connections" up from 62 in late July.

In Facebook, I now have 40 friends, a huge increase from the 8 I had in late July. Of those 40 almost half are people who work at my firm. Almost all of them have joined Facebook since late July.

Email is still the dominant form of business communication and has been for many years. It was no surprise that the contacts in InterAction (which is largely driven by email) continue to grow at a steady pace.

I am really surprised at the growing numbers in Facebook. Surprised is not the right word. I was surprised by the communication powers of Facebook. I think most people find that communications power to be a great tool to use. The big barrier is wading through the media coverage to try Facebook out for themselves and see what it can do for them.

I ran into one of my Facebook "friends" in the hallway. Although we had not run into each face-to-face for weeks, we both remarked how it felt like we had been talking to each other everyday.

That is the real power of social network tools: the ability to enhance personal communications.

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