March 11, 2009
I’m the IT guy at our house. Are you? If we have a problem with our Y! Small business email, blog, with FB or twitter I’m typically trying to QA and find the fix in whatever spare time I can muster. Sound familiar?
If you work for a company and you have a problem with your email, who do you talk to? IT?
So, if you have a problem with your blog (that you talk about work stuff with sometimes), who do you talk to? Maybe IT, but chances are it depends on the problem or how your IT department feels about supporting blogs. What if you have a question about your work Twitter account? Or LinkedIn? Or Facebook? Now, who do you talk to?
We need a Social Media IT department.
Our Social Media IT department wouldn’t solve all our problems would they? If we are lucky, and I’m lucky with the talented folks on my IT team, they’d be able to help us with the technical half of our challenges.
Our challenges are so much bigger. We need support at our place of work for the social and cultural issues we face on the social web. Employees need direction on the protocol and etiquette. If we’re participating on the social web to support our business, we also need tips on how to be successful in our communications. We have to have guidance on win friends and influence people toward our goals. That opens up a whole other can of works, metrics; we have to know what what is effective after all.
Zeldman talks about our need for a web division. He correctly identifies that we typically hand our websites to IT or Marketing. Any guesses where WebTrend’s website lives? While each of these respective departments have skills and interests that should influence the site. Traditionally neither is well suited for the whole responsibility. The same is true for the company Facebook group or the corporate Twitter account.
I’m not convinced we need a web division, but I think Zeldman is on to something. I am convinced that we need support for these newly emerged communication tools. And, not by dumping the responsibilities on existing departments that are ill-equipped and already bootstrapping. We do need Social Media IT for daily support of social media tools. It’s probably more accurate to say that we need a web division with social media capabilities. Or, better yet, a Communication Department.
Where does social media IT support live in your company?