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What if you had a completely turnkey solution for managing multi-threaded interactions with teams? What if this application handled scheduling, status updates, RSS feeds from collaborative blogs, group messaging, 1-to-1 messaging, photo and screen capture sharing, and more? What if it permitted secure group communication for people inside and outside of your company? And what if you didn’t have to convince your IT department to install it?

Sounds powerful, right? Sounds useful.

Facebook Does All This

Facebook started out as a college application where students could find each other, build digital renditions of their real-time social networks. (Beyond that, I’d recommend googling their history, as I’m just making it up). Where it is NOW is a clean, well-designed, open-to-3rd-party-applications platform that utterly blows away MySpace as a social networking tool.

But for business? Chris, you’re joking!

I thought about this today. Here’s what you get with Facebook and their 3rd party apps:

  • Email client.
  • Status client.
  • Groups – which permits 1-to-many messaging, discussion threads, im-like interaction.
  • RSS support to import your team’s blogs (Your team isn’t blogging?), wikis, etc
  • Calendar / Event app.
  • Twitter app.
  • Flickr app.
  • News feed that tells you what people in your “friends” (your team, in our case) have done differently with their account lately.

Am I Crazy Here?

This is a technology that accounts for a lot of what we might want in collaboration management, hosted on hordes of servers we don’t have to touch, at the cost of free, and probably the only thing an IT department might gripe about is sharing company info outside the firewalls. Is that a big issue to your organization? Then maybe this doesn’t work 1:1.

Go ahead, shoot holes in my theory. I thought it might be interesting to consider, at least. What do YOU think? Are you using Facebook? As a business?

Update: Daniel Johnson has a blog post and audio interview on a similar vein. Worth checking out.

Chris Brogan blogs at [chrisbrogan.com]

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