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Rolodex-terity

According to the Wall Street Journal, several software companies are developing “relationship-mining” applications that will allow companies to tap into employees’ personal and professional networks to find business partners and potential clients and customers. The lead to the story suggests that the traditional approach to knowledge management — capturing what employees know — might not be the best bet. “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”

While the writers play up the privacy concerns such software brings up, I’m fascinated by how CMJ Network is using Visible Path. It seems like LinkedIn, only tightly integrated with an organization’s communications platform.

Despite my enthusiasm for the CMJ Network example, what are the privacy concerns? As a leader, the benefits of tapping into your team’s contacts are clear. As an employee of a company, would you want your employer to comb your email and other address books for contacts? How do you think this sort of social software could best work in a business setting?

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