Several years back I did a project with MasterCard. They needed help with both internal and external communications. I was their gal. Sarbanes Oxley was causing a lot of strife and legal fees. Intranets were being actively used for insider information (in a good way) telling stories of fellow employees, and what’s happening around the globe with others in the company. Also, if someone wanted to sell something or carpool, the intranet was the place. Now not so. Why go in when you can go out? Yammer has replaced the intranet for company employees to sign in, sign up, post a comment, sale, or need. This is part of the social media craze and the old brick and mortars, and healthcare and large pharma’s are joining in. AstraZeneca stated at a Social Media conference recently that they use Yammer. Why hire someone, or more, to manage, update and communicate through an intranet when you can use a similarly constructed site from the outside for free? At first glance there doesn’t seem a need. But, with the site suited for multi-company purposes the issues of privacy and security will come up and this utility will be reviewed from time to time like Facebook does.
Want to know where someone is and you don’t want to pay for a private detective or GPS tracking device? Foursquare! You can login and post to their favorite sites, people, where they are dining, driving, or trying to get to. Anyone remember Fandango? That was one of the first mobile apps for searching movies, events, and other happenings. Now for mostly movies you can access online but it’s content on mobile apps was available several years back in the dot-com boom years. Many other companies apps, ideas, companies don’t exist now. They didn’t survive the technology transfers and frankly many had poor management whether they were well backed or not. I believe many of the social media phenomena are rearrangements of previous technology/communication ideas that were either too big at that time, too progressive, or not far-reaching enough during their time. But, some online starters are still around – Purple Tie, Fresh Express? On line dry cleaning and pick-up and grocery delivery. Stop and Shop has Peapod.com which will do many people well, as for Purple Tie, still only available in California – and of course it touts itself GREEN 🙂