What’s your social score?


Late last year, Business Week talked about an experiment at Google to rank users of social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter based on connectedness, frequency of communication and influence.  In the article, the value of influence-ranking using Google’s patent-pending technology is examined in the context of advertising, but such a system has other potential applications in business.

As I previously mentioned, maintaining a large number of healthy, diverse relationships is one way to improve the collaborative quotient of an organisation.  Companies are looking  to innovative ways to measure the effectiveness of collaboration and its impact on success.  Some companies are finding value in charting the relationships between individuals and creating maps that help to visualise the density and relative value of social ties within the sphere of business.  In a conversation at Knowledge Infusion, Jason Corsello recently talked about the potential for adding a “social index” to employees’ performance appraisals as a way to track and presumably stimulate collaborative behavior.

In Forbes this week, Joshua-Michele Ross muses on the rise of the social nervous system and gives a number of examples of how a massively connected society could improve such things as EMS, political effectiveness and virus (disease) forecasting.  All of these examples show the potential for technology to increase visibility into communication and presumably improve effectiveness, but towards the end of Ross’ article, the privacy alarm begins to sound.

As Ross puts it, “In a social nervous system there will be increasing pressure to be connected 24/7 to the hive mind that is Facebook, Twitter and so on. Those who do not connect, share and collaborate will have a hard time in business and in social life.”

We’re already seeing some employers using credit reports to evaluate potential employees.  Do you suppose that in the not too distant future companies will be calling a network reporting bureau to obtain your social score as well?

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  1. #1 by Dave Baldwin - March 16th, 2009 at 05:08

    Interesting post! I have been thinking about getting a cell phone just so we could have a twitter account for our church. It would be LifePoint twitter. Then, people who wanted real time updates or who had questions to ask could do so immediately. We would take turns carrying the phone and that’s all we would use it for.
    Interesting idea teasers. Thanks Roger!
    Blessings,
    Dave

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