Crowdsourcing: Feeding on the Power of Social Media, Networking and Its Relevance By Amilda Dymi

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From changing social behavior to defining business conduct, the explosion of social technology tools through MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are expected to dramatically revise organizational existence in 2011--and mortgage companies may have to speed up efforts so they are not left behind.

"We ain't seen nothing yet," says technology innovation expert Scott Klososky, author of "Enterprise Social Technology," one of the first books to focus on online publicity.

Years of consulting experience with various organizations that were trying to implement social technology as a tool led Klososky to discover "the unsettling reality that social tech tools are still seen as mere novelties rather than used as a means to measurably improve the bottom line."

Progress has been made in increasing the popularity of these tools, but that improvement appears to be far from enough since lack of awareness is still stopping many organizations from using social media at full potential.

It was the main finding from a yearend 2010 study conducted by FaceTime Communications that surveyed 1,654 information technology managers and end users.

While the actual data showed social networking was present in 100% of cases, IT professionals estimated that social networking was present only on 62% of their networks. Similarly, even though file-sharing tools were present in 74% of locations, in the IT professionals' estimation they were in use only at 32% of locations. Also, IT professionals estimated that Web-based chat was in use only at 31% of locations, while in fact it was available in 95% of locations.

Klososky offers tips on how to harness the power of social media in times when social technologies continue to increase their presence in the business world.

The problem, he says, is that "most don't know what to do with them," yet.

Because these tools were initially designed for personal use, many organizations have even gone so far as to block the use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

At best, Klososky says, firms simply experiment with ways how to benefit from them, but "little has been done to holistically address how social tools can be fully integrated into an organization."

What is worse, most leaders have little idea what the full collection of capabilities is that exist under the social umbrella.

All of the above inspired Klosoky to write the book in an effort to demystify the "much-hyped subject" using a growth-focused approach to social technology and how to benefit from not just the big, well-known platforms to work but all kinds of sources that exist in cyberspace.

Social technology has to be seen as a business area that requires anything from planning, goal setting and assembling a savvy team, to measuring the return on investment.

According to Klososky, entrepreneurs need a how-to manual that helps define their organization-specific process of implementing social technology in its most powerful form.

His stated goal is "to move the discussion past whether a CEO should be tweeting, or the organization developing a Facebook fan page," and into how leaders can integrate the full range of social technology tools to make a truly meaningful difference in their organizations.

"Just as personal computers, the Web and e-commerce has caused dramatic changes in how organizations operate, social technology also will alter the way we do business."

Being a social technology pioneer, Klososky bases these suggested practical strategies using what he calls "the technique of crowdsourcing," or the act of outsourcing tasks to a large group of people or community-or to a crowd-through an open exchange of views and ideas between those specialists who know the subject matter the best.

Klososky created a detailed outline as described in the initial and closing chapters of the book using crowdspring.com.

"I crowdsourced the content for the other chapters. In the end, we found that crowdsourcing worked, even for a project as complex as writing a book."

That process in itself is a model of social tech implementation within any size organization showing how to set social tech goals, assemble a social tech team, how to integrate social tech tools into the sales process, manage online reputation, become more competitive in the marketplace and "even generate social good."

It also illustrates how the future of social technologies most probably will look like.

"Considering all these benefits, it is obviously that the race is on to figure out how to leverage social tech tools to win big in business," concludes Klososky, who was the CEO of three successful startup companies-including second-generation online banking provider Alkami Technology and publishing brand Crowdscribed-before he decided to specialize in how technology is changing the world of business and culture.

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