Porous membrane

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Social media

Well upon reading some more on chapter one of our prescribed textbook Enterprise 2.0 Nial Cook (2008). The chapter briefly covered porous membrane and how social media can create an “alignment” between corporate/internal conversations and external/customer conversations. A concept formed and drawn by Cartoonist/CEO of Stormhoek USA, Hugh Mcleod coined the idea porous membrane, as illustrated in his diagram below. 

Porous membrane as described by Hugh MacLeod (2005). 

On the diagram represents  the internal conversations, that is encased in membrane X.  Membrane X can be like some sort of corporate barrier, this membrane separates the “internal conversations” of a business from the “external conversations” of their customers. This can be a problem when you want to “sync” or connect and convey your business and ideas to the average customer. Now if this membrane became more porous such as conversations that are not dictated by corporate appointed public relations experts and are instead conversations from the average worker, which can “inform” and align the customer. This can give the corporation a human touch, which they can easily convey and connect with their respective customers.

Having a porous membrane can be a very good way to connect and build trust with customers, but what if this membrane becomes too porous? or how porous is this company meant to be? and what if the membrane becomes obsolete? these are excellent questions for a business and should be thought of before committing. We all can point out past media headlines featuring certain people being disciplined, fired or worst for becoming the front man for their respective organisation.

An example is the incident involving a former US intelligence agent Bradley Manning(employee) and the US state department(employer), where he felt morally obliged to convey information concerning the US forces workings around the world to the public(customers) check the link out here http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/foreign-policy/5395-wikileaks-whistleblowing-or-treason.

Heres one of the many leaks by All blacks http://sport.stv.tv/rugby/138336-all-blacks-face-dressing-down-over-twitter-leak/ , which could have been avoided if a set of control was in place, Ie a controlled porous membrane, with more understood boundaries without a free reign of what can be said.

Heres a link to Hugh Mcleods page porous membrane http://gapingvoid.com/2005/05/09/the-porous-membrane-why-corporate-blogging-works/.


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