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There is a lot of media coverage these days about ‘Social Media’. In this blog I would like to share my views on Social Media and its implications for (personal) productivity. 

Some recent reading that got me thinking in this direction is a blog entry on the same topic on Oreilly Radar and a SDN The specified item was not found. on Social BPM. Before getting into the details having a common understanding on what social media means can he found here from Wikipedia. As ‘Mass Media’ and ‘Communication’ make the transition from being traditional monopoly (walled garden) Industries into being a more open ‘Social Media’ driven ones, powered by the Collective Intelligence of the masses collaborating using the Internet, the changes can be felt in all Industry verticals.  The Business model transformation effect of Social media usage has been well established starting from success of Open source software to increasing adoption of network driven ‘Open innovation’ culture across Industries.

Given that the Individual and Enterprise participation in Social Media is a prerequisite, how can we do this in a productive manner? To be more precise who should contribute, how much, how and who is going to measure the value of the contribution?  For example – Not sure how important/useful it is to frequently update status on ‘what are you doing?’ . While increasingly Enterprises formulate rules for engagement with social media, it would to an extent give a new definition to the ‘social’ aspect of the interaction. Given that there are a lot more ‘consumers’ of social media than ‘producers’, the drivers for contribution to social media need to be better understand. Given most people have a day job to do and a family life after, the consumption driven social media is probably not too surprising.  While IT innovations (read mobile devices, broadband networks…) are making it increasingly easy to contribute to social media, the trend is probably being more driven by the younger generation (who are natural users of social networking sites).

Given the ‘information overload’ we are already under data from additional social media channels (blogs, twitter, waves,..) only makes the ‘productivity’ problem more worse (for producers and consumers). While the extent of social media activism depends on ‘social’ inclinations of individuals, provision of tools for ‘smart’ social media consumption can definitely help. As a regular user of ‘Bloglines blog reader’ and ‘Windows Live Writer’, can only wish for more such tools to enable productive usage of social media. While the natural human interaction with social media (embedded in the context of human interaction) needs a lot more innovation we see some already being built into the tools (ex: retweets). While developments in areas of ‘Text analytics’ and ‘Event Stream Processing’  promise huge productivity enhancements for social media consumption, I personally think the production process still lags in productivity.

With increasingly more data being accessible by public API’s every day, we will see a lot more collaborative use of it using social media. Hence it’s a good time to think of how we can ‘sustainable’ be part of the social media driven innovation ecosystem.

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