Social networks like Facebook and Linked-In are amazing tools for creating and maintain connections while removing physical boundaries. My favorite social network is LinkedIn, because it provides a safe haven for professionals to connect. As I have found, some individuals leverage Linked-In purely as a marketing platform to push messaging; those people are short sighted. I have used Linked-In over the past 3 years as a way to harness the collective intelligence of colleagues and customers. Even more important, Linked-In has allowed me to keep in touch with the hundreds of people whom I have worked with over the years.
My organization, Centigon Solutions, has recently incorporated Linked-In as part of our process to expand our collective network. For example, inside of Salesforce.com we have a Linked-In widget where I can instantly see the profiles for any contact in our database. I was amazed to find that I was not connected with some of our beta users, product champions, and partners. As an individual, these are the creative, forward thinking people that I want to align myself with. As a business owner our most important asset outside of our company are champions who help us introduce Centigon Solutions products in the marketplace.
How do you harness social network sites?