Should companies block social networking sites and email sites in their office to prevent distractions? Or should they embrace social media and the web 2.0 landscape, leveraging it to enhance collaboration, innovation, and productivity among employees?
OpenRoad Communications is a Vancouver-based web development company that has created ThoughtFarmer, which is a product that marries the functionality of your typical office intranet with the interactively communicative elements of social media.
The Georgia Straight recently brought to light the potential of ThoughtFarmer to transform the dry and drab cubicle office into something more resemblant of today's highly social and interactive world:
Intranets have their roots in the mid ’90s, but the concept of a social intranet is only about a year old, and ThoughtFarmer was the first piece of social intranet software on the market. ThoughtFarmer allows employees to work on documents together without the hassle of uploading, e-mailing, and downloading attachments. Version 4.0 features employee profiles that track the contributions of an individual to shared documents, wikis, blogs, and online discussions.
ThoughtFarmer can be used to create a valuable workplace resource, archiving contributions of former employees and allowing new ones to get familiar with the company’s policies and social culture. Its wikis, blogs, and social-media components merge the professional and the personal, engaging employees in new ways.
ThoughtFarmer, which is impressively scalable, may end up being a pioneer in what could easily become a trend: social intranets that morph old world offices into a professional landscape more reflective of the web 2.0 era.
What do you think of social intranets? Would you want to see your company adopt ThoughtFarmer?