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External and internal social media are changing business

It is difficult to stand out in the loud, crowded social media sphere, but forward-thinking CIOs are doing just that, turning to external and internal social media channels to help their organizations break through the clamor and improve their knowledge base.

In this video interview, filmed at the Fusion 2012 CEO-CIO Symposium in Madison, Wis., Site Editor Wendy Schuchart sits down with William Caraher, CIO at von Briesen & Roper, s.c., in Milwaukee, to discuss the new buzz in social media.

Caraher explains the differences between external and internal social media and how to use both to improve business strategy. He suggests that using a range of social media platforms, including Twitter and Yammer, can reinvent business as usual and help companies stand out.

Read a partial transcript from this interview, below, and watch the video to learn more about the benefits of external and internal social media.

What advice or tips would you give to CIOs who are thinking about Twitteror haven't really embraced it?

William Caraher: Social is definitely a new frontier for a lot of people, especially professionals, and in the technology realm, it's amazing how much information is out there. People are willing to share just about anything on every topic, and sure, there is a lot of noise, but if you follow good, quality people and people who are tweeting about topics you are interested in, it's a wealth of information. I learn something new every day. Many times, it is information that I would not have discovered otherwise, had I not been on Twitter.

How do Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ differ?

Google+ is the new kid on the block, and people are still trying to figure it out. I would say LinkedIn is a great networking resource to connect with people, have relationships or meet someone. But Twitter is more about information sharing in real time. So, as it happens, as data is released, as studies are developed, people are broadcasting that out, and you can connect to those channels and get that information very quickly. Also, I have found that internal social [media] is kind of becoming the new buzzword. Companies are looking to their internal resources, all their employees and everybody in the company, and they're saying, "We have a great knowledge base here. If we kept this within the four walls of our company, instead of broadcasting it out on Twitter, we [would] have this internal communication stream." It's just an untapped resource that a lot of companies are really finding value in.

What kind of platforms are you seeing people embrace to make that happen, since they can't broadcast on Twitter or Google+?

There are a couple open source technologies for that. There are also some paid resources -- Yammer is one instance of that. It's combining the idea of instant messaging and group chat, but having it as a social stream that is within your four walls. And there are other platforms out there that are in the emerging or startup state, but I think we'll see a lot more of that.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Wendy Schuchart, Site Editor. Formidmarket IT news and updates throughout the week, follow us on Twitter @ciomidmarket.

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