Finding people in large organisations is very very hard
At its core, creating an organisation of people is about the sum being more than the parts – taking advantage of the fact the people working together can achieve more than people working alone. In any organisation bigger than about 100 people there will be colleagues who have not met and this means the organisation is not making best use of its collective of people.
The challenge is this: how does Joe – based in Vancouver and interested in server technology and snow skiing find Amanda – just joined the Toronto office with experience in deploying servers at a ski manufacturer? The killer app for an enterprise social network has to be some sort of “people finder” – a search function which allows people to look across a series of dimensions to identify colleagues with shared interest. LinkedIn’s people finder is a good design pattern for consideration.