We are living in an era of collaboration, where every organization is seeking opportunities of networking and collaborating with individuals & other organizations. Every commercial entity is looking at how it can benefit others and how it can benefit from others. The reason is not just commercial gains but also global knowledge sharing ushered by the age of Globalization.
A very common and old example of collaboration is exchange of visiting cards or contacts. By giving your visiting card to another person, you have expressed that you are available to collaborate for business or knowledge sharing. Now, this practice has risen to a higher level with Internet.
Some interesting facts:
Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US.
Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day.
Indians spend more time on social media than on any other activity on the Internet.
Social Media is all about interaction. Any site where users can interact is a Social Media website.
Social Media has brought a revolution where Internet users collaborate over their favorite topic or queries related to their profession or recreation. Millions of people are using LinkedIn to communicate with professionals of similar field or interest. Developers & people from IT use StackOverflow, Klout, Quora, etc. for participating in discussions & solving real world problems. Twitter & Tumblr are very popular micro-blogging sites for text & multimedia updates. Apart from all this, people all over the world are blogging about anything & everything that makes sense to them. WordPress, Blogger, Posterous, Typepad are the most used blogging engines.
According to me, the best advantage about Social Media is that you can get information & you can also give your opinion or ask questions then & there itself. It is a bidirectional means of communication unlike a newspaper or a TV show.
Not just individuals, even organizations today are using Social Media to make their presence felt. Finally, the two things an organization needs to think about are:
How Social Media savvy are they?
And are they utilizing this Web 2.0 resource to their maximum advantage?