In my previous post, I suggested that internal social networking services–those supported by SharePoint that are similar to public-domain services such as Facebook and LinkedIn–offer a way for businesses to more easily prescribe where information should be sought. When properly configured, they also offer readily searchable repositories that can bring different departments into sync with each other. By supporting internal social networking, businesses are providing a mechanism by which people can share knowledge and transfer wisdom. For example, by writing down and storing their knowledge with appropriate metadata, experts are providing a repository that future workers will be able to search to find this information–a searchable knowledge repository–and through which their expertise can also be transferred from the more mature workers to younger, less experienced workers. SharePoint not only provides comprehensive search, but also identifies other interested parties or those who have authored documents on the same topic. By seeing search results based on people, and thus who may have expertise, users have a natural ‘bridge' for contacting someone directly or via the person's own MySite page in SharePoint–like an internal Facebook–or by posting a message on the person's blog as a start to building a relationship. The Facebook-like capability of SharePoint also allows workers to monitor and participate in discussions going on throughout the organization, thus facilitating a more free-flow sharing of information and allowing users to better leverage the knowledge of co-workers to support strategic analysis and decision-making. Far too often, departments are siloed, so information flows only amongst their team and they don't hear what others are doing or get a chance to leverage what others know. Social networking, using collaboration technology such as SharePoint, changes all that–for better results across the organization. In a future post, I'll talk a bit about challenges organizations face in training people away from dependence on external sources of information (when better internal information or human resources are readily available) and strategies I've seen implemented that brought positive results.