While Facebook and Twitter are keeping people connected to make the world a smaller place, IBM is working on selling similar types of software to organizations to help them communicate more efficiently with different segments of their business.
Imagine being able to find the right expert at the right time, just by searching a database of your companies emails and blogs. If you need to solve a very specific manufacturing issue, just start searching the related data, and bam!, John Smith pops up on your computer.
The concept of social networking within enterprise systems can be invaluable when used properly, and this is what IBM is selling in addition to the actual software. They are teaching organizations how 'make their world a smallerplace'. Big business has always suffered from the "one hand doesn't know what the other is doing" syndrome, and IBM is getting at the core of that challenge with this new initiative.
In an era where corporations are busy struggling to keep their employees from being distracted by social networks like Facebook, IBM has embraced the trend and utilized the concept to facilitate business growth. People already understand the technology, and in many cases, are presently using it. With the popularity of social networking in our private lives, it should be a no-brainer to make this work for business solutions.