Facebook at the Factory?

Sure! Why Not? While we’re at it we can get Plaxo for the plant, MySpace for the warehouse, and Back Orifice for the Office! After all, why shouldn’t we let our employees SuperPoke their buddies all day, flit away their day following their contacts’ twitter feeds, or hack into their supervisor’s computer … it’s not like they have anything better to do with their time! Right?

Needless to say I was outraged when I saw Facebook at the Factory: Manufacturing Must Become More like Social Media headlining over on the Supply & Demand Chain Executive site — because it’s such an idiotic idea. I’m faceless, spaceless, and twitter-free for a reason … and that reason is because these platforms offer zero value to a hard-working professional.

So I’m going to take a moment and point out the dumb conclusions the article reached … which were especially idiotic given that the writer(s) had access to a study with valid results and lots of information easily available through a Google search upon which to draw more realistic conclusions.

The article started by quoting a finding that said “62% of respondents want their ERP system to capture and record the knowledge of senior experienced engineers and professionals so that it becomes part of the corporate knowledge base”. That’s knowledge management, not social networking.

It then quoted the CTO of IFS who said “Enterprise 2.0 and social media tools are designed to draw information out of people, to get them to talk”. While this is true, it bluntly failed to mention what kind of information Social Networking sites draw out of people … their entertainment preferences, their personal preferences, and where they went to get blind drunk last night (with potentially embarrassing pictures they don’t remember taking). And what use does that information have in the daily operation of your business? That’s right. None!

Finally, it quoted the CTO of IFS who, correctly, said that web 2.0 tools like wikis, threaded discussion boards, and other features of social media will become common fixtures in enterprise software. That’s right, useful tools will become incorporated in enterprise software as time goes on. And Facebook, as of today, does NOT fall into that category.

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