Social (Network) Science

Fact: The social-networking site LinkedIn claims as users “17,000,000+ Professionals, 500,000+ Senior Executives, Executives from 498 Fortune 500 companies, [and] 65,000 new Professionals every week.”

Analysis: Since I hold the title of “chief technology officer” for my group at Microsoft, I regularly check the widely-read blog CTOvision, written by Bob Gourley, CTO of Crucial Point.

CollaborationlogosYesterday he posted a very solid summary of several social networking tools, including my preferred LinkedIn.  If you’re not up to speed on the genre it is a helpful cheatsheet and “buyer’s guide.”

The technology area deserves the attention. There are a dozen or more such sites for each that Gourley covers, and he chooses the ones that have shown growth and potential longevity; why invest any time adding personal data to a site just to watch it disappear? We’ve all had that happen. And yet hockey-stick growth has to be managed – LinkedIn for example has come in for some critical attention for some snafus along the way.

Let’s look at some efforts to understand more about the science behind the software….

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Seeking Business Intelligence

I had breakfast this morning with Gartner’s Lisa Gross and we were able to talk about her continuing work in support of my old haunts – the agencies of the Intelligence Community. She’s first-rate at understanding the IT needs of large-scale government enterprises, and has always been known as a trusted adviser for CIOs, CTOs, and senior IT executives across many federal agencies.

I was recounting to her that when I first started at Microsoft (oh these many weeks), I was ecstatic at finding on our corporate intranet seemingly total unfettered access to Gartner research reports and white papers (along with similar access to Forrester research and reports).  The mother lode! 

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