The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of what electronic social networking encompasses. It also aims to educate IT, business decision makers, knowledge workers and librarians about the various applications, benefits and risks associated with social networking.
After a literature review of the available resources (academic literature, journal articles, white papers, popular media and books) the benefits and perceived risks associated with electronic social networking on organisations are investigated.
An individual's success in society depends on the shape and size of his/her social network and ability to network and form connections with other social groups. Organisations which can harness this innate human ability to manage knowledge will be able to lower transactions costs and become more profitable.
The paper increases the understanding of what electronic social networking encompasses and how it can be utilised for business purposes. The ideas and discussion put forth are equally applicable to libraries and may give them new insights into the provision of social networking applications as part of their services to users.
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