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A new craze in social networking has companies starting their own private social network. Is this a good thing? Does it benefit the company?

There are lots of reasons why a company might want a private social network. You can’t share sensitive information through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Those are unsecure environments. But Chatter, a website that specializes in providing private social networks for businesses is a secure environment.

In order to use Chatter, a person has to have an e-mail address from your domain. If they don’t, they can’t join your network. Pretty simple.

But what uses does a private social network have?

For one thing, you can use a private social network if you have multiple offices – either in the same city – or in various geographic locations. The private social network will allow you to collaborate more easily across distances. You can build better relationships between your office locations and the employees at those locations.

You can share information more efficiently through your own private social network. Instead of sending out an e-mail blast to everyone who needs to know, you can post one message to your network and the people who need that information will be able to access it.

A private social network can also be beneficial for training purposes.

There are a myriad of reasons why you might want your own private social network. Chatter is free and open source. That’s not a bad deal.

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