Enterprise social networking done well can be a windfall for business

Searchlight looks at enterprise social networking lessons from Monopoly's makeover, how POTUS's cybersecurity order scores on privacy, and more.

For those who still haven't gotten in on the enterprise social networking game, it's time to roll the dice. I'm not talking about slapping up a Facebook page, tossing out a Twitter handle and calling it a day. I'm talking about proactively investing real energy beyond simply advertising your brand. Perhaps it would help to know that enterprise social networking could move millions of people around the world to act in the interest of your company.

Karen GoulartKaren Goulart

Hasbro was able to do just that for its venerable Monopoly game, which traces its roots to 1903. In an effort to update the classic, the toy company concocted the "Save Your Token" campaign, which invited the virtual throng to choose which of its eight iconic metal game tokens to send to jail, and to select something new to replace it. Fans of the game (of which there are 10 million on Facebook) voted via a special Facebook app. They were also able to follow the returns and hype their favorites on Facebook and with a dedicated Twitter hashtag.

The crowdsourcing didn't stop at individuals. Other companies got in on the action, jumping on the bandwagon of game pieces close to their own brands. Online footwear peddler Zappos.com sought to save the shoe; 9Lives rallied behind the cat, which ultimately sent the iron off to the clink. (People on the Internet love cats? No way!) In short, people loved the online challenge; and that's saying a lot because honestly, who gets excited about board games anymore? Two other tokens -- the cannon and the horse -- were retired in the 1990s and no one batted an eye.

Who knows how long the enthusiasm will last, but at least for the moment, the old-school family game is on people's minds. In this age where Warhol's "15 minutes of fame" would be considered a legendary run, every moment counts.

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The Hasbro campaign is a decent example of how even the most simple application of social networking -- in this case, clicking "Like" or sending a Tweet -- can be a big business boost. And lest you think social's focus on consumers is more about marketing than IT, think again. Leading off this week's roundup, SAP Global CIO Oliver Bussman talks about the Monopoly campaign's social media takeaway for both the business and IT, and about how he tracks consumer trends to anticipate enterprise demands.

The social media-crowdsourcing fun doesn't end there. This week's Searchlight also highlights President Obama's highly interactive State of the Union address -- which was not entirely surprising, considering his Ask Me Anything appearance on Reddit and Thursday's "Fireside Hangout" on Google. Speaking of the POTUS, he makes a second appearance in Searchlight when journalist Andy Greenberg gives his executive order on cybersecurity a thumbs-up.

  • SAP Global CIO Oliver Bussman is cool on cats but big on enterprise social networking.
  • Whatever your political leanings, it's hard to argue against being able to gripe in real time. So, here's hoping the White House finds future uses for a tool deployed this week that allowed citizens to give immediate feedback on specific elements of President Obama's State of the Union address.
  • Gartner predicts that by 2015 Hadoop will be embedded in 65% of packaged analytic applications. Here's why those who are perplexed/overwhelmed/flat-out annoyed with all the "big data" hype ought to take heart.
  • Where you stand on data portability depends on where you sit. Just be sure it's not out in the cold.
  • As the much-maligned Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act returns, an argument for why President Obama's cybersecurity executive order deserves some love from privacy advocates.
  • Just in time for Valentine's Day, blogger Jim Harris put into song(s) his deep abiding love for -- big data. Be careful, Jim, she's a complicated mistress.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, Features Writer.

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