Social Networking for Business

IBM is introducing Lotus Connections, a set of social networking services for office workers. Reuters says the team productivity software will include “member profiles, activities, blogs, communities and ‘dogear’ – IBM’s word for how users identify and share Web bookmarks with colleagues.”

Sounds a lot like IBM has dusted off the old Virtual TeamRoom application for Lotus Notes and bolted some Web 2.0 features (or at least nomenclature) on it. I remember TeamRoom from my time at McKinsey – we used it half-heartedly to store and track our project-related documents. I always thought it had potential, but the interface was kludgy and it was always easier to ask someone to email a document that you really needed instead of sifting through a confusing hierarchy of folders and views. Maybe the corporate workforce, softened up to the concepts of social networking, will be more receptive to such a tool now – assuming it’s not just another bloated piece of enterprise software that’s hard to install and even harder to understand. 

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