Removed from isolation
In reflecting about the assigned readings this week, I find myself intrigued yet a little scared. Up until I had enrolled in this class I have gotten by with basic use of the internet and email. I almost feel in a sense that I have been isolated all of this time. It seems as though I am being introduced to a whole new world.
I think that is was mostly the fear of not knowing enough about it to try it. Part of me feared that if I were to post a MySpace or Facebook account I would be giving out information to complete strangers. I was unaware that you can protect your privacy. I was also unaware of the networking possibilties. It is such a great way to meet people and develop relationships.
I can see that this trend of social networking is going to become essential in the workplace. These tools are not only being used for personal reasons anymore. Whether the people you work with are sitting in the neighboring cubicles or in a country around the world, you need to coordinate and collaborate (Connect!, pg. 154). Virtual teamwork has made the workflow so much more efficient. While the telephone still does hold a purpose, not everyone has time to talk during the day. This comes in particularly handy when working with people in different time zones.
What I find interesting is that while I have often spent an afternoon at work waiting for an important response to an email, when in fact there are alternatives that are more efficient and allow you to be able to multi-task. With the use of instant messaging it allows an immediacy that doesn't always work with email. It also allows a more fluid conversation. Until reading about this in Connect! I have just associated instant messaging to that of my younger cousin who communicates this way with her classmates. I now see how it could be very useful in a work setting. Finding a time to schedule a meeting can be close to impossible. With the use of status updaters, tools like Twitter allows you to provide status updates of what you have accomplished. This makes it very beneficial in team projects in which your status affects their progress.
In regards to the reading in Wikinomics it has become clear that businesses now days must "open up your platforms to increase the speed, scope, and success of innovation." (Wikinomics, 185). Companies like eBay, Google, and Amazon have had extraordinary success by doing so. Being able to obtain external ideas these open platforms have been able to innovate much faster than solely relying on the limited amount of internal resources.
I have learned a lot of information this week and in a sense feel less isolated. Implementing this new technology into my life is going to take some work, but I feel the benefits will be limitless.