Chad Chalifoux is a software engineer that has been working on providing better means of enterprise social networks for various companies over the years. When he isn’t surfing through social media coding or the web, he’s usually catching a few real waves.

We’ve all heard the words social network before, explaining what Facebook, Google+ and other social media platforms were. But the introduction of enterprise social networks is a completely different area, focused around the simple concept of collaboration and communication through a specific business circle. Sure, businesses have been doing this for a while with email or even chatting in a break room, but the type of powerful communication offered through various collaboration applications can change the way a company can function and grow.

But first, when it comes down to it, what is an enterprise social network?

Social Communication

Although there can be a single definition to what an enterprise social network is, many of them function in different ways or with different components, which means while they all fall under the same umbrella term, they actually are varied in quite major degrees. One enterprise social network is LinkedIn, which focuses on providing communication to various companies within the same professional category and is particularly useful for hiring. But then you have another network like Yammer, which is more of a private network directed around a specific company, and then there is even the in between with Google+ providing circles and registration with domain addresses so that you can have a private communication application for just your business while still outreaching to areas outside of the business.

Regardless of the application though, all enterprise social networks work at one simple component and that is to spread communication within and without any company, to a degree this also means things like twitter and Facebook can be used as a business social network, but more often as a means of marketing which is not the true purpose of Enterprise social networks. It is all about proper communication to help grow and develop the company though collaboration of employees.

In Actual Practice

Most people don’t quite recognize the concept of what this kind of communication actually means for a business. In fact many people just think of it as more ways for employees to just do things they weren’t supposed to. But when you have so many employees working around forty hours of their week do you know what they have a tendency of talking about? Work; it is a considerable amount of their life and so it is bound to be something talked about, especially when you promote that work should be discussed. This allows ideas to crop up regularly and be improved upon which provides a company with a means of actual adaptation. Staying stagnant with everything can lead to a poor means of business practice.

The Technology behind Social Networking

We always see regular updates an improvements to sites like Facebook (often met with dread but then forgotten in time), so it shouldn’t be surprising that social intranet software is constantly being improved upon with the main focuses being a means of instant and direct communication to many people or only one person at once and a means of sharing documentation across the web or on a server that is not location specific. Everything else after that tends to come as extra additional things that are worked on to improve those two mentalities.

The original designs for these enterprise social networks simply just took key components that social media sites used like following and walls, but before long components from other programs were adapted like the file sharing, so that these enterprise social networks could become the only required software for employee collaboration.