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Todd Roark

There are many variables at play in regarding the efficacy of applying the concepts of social media to the work environment. Personal preference is of them. I like a lot of unbroken attention to get things done; however, I notice that not everyone is like me. Some, especially younger members, seem much more able, if not, demanding "distractions". Here's an interesting article regarding attention related trends: http://nymag.com/news/features/56793/.

Attempting to factor out preference, and in some cases, addiction, for the moment, it would seem that social media concepts have potential for improving the effectiveness of work which requires interaction. Nevertheless, a work based social network sounds like an oxymoron. I favor the term collaborative network coined by Oliver Marks according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_network.

Regarding the concern that social media may be like a neighbor peeking over the wall to start a conversation, I think the reverse may be more likely. I can very easily ignore electronic social media. The same cannot usually be said of an actual visitor. Thus if there is concern over the ability of maintain a span of unbroken focus on some task, collaborative networks (social media) may provide relief by allowing you to block your time by choice.

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