Rarely does a new set of tools come along—seemingly rising out of nowhere—and become such a powerful way to get business done. At the same time, while social technology tools are indispensible to some people, others can’t grasp what they are or why they matter. In just the last few years Web sites like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr have become commonly used by hundreds of millions of people. Services like Twitter, RSS feeds, blogs, and LinkedIn connect us in real time to the thoughts and lives of thousands of people at once so that we can assemble rivers of information in ways we simply never had before. All of these new capabilities have the potential to improve our quality of life and our productivity at work. Of course, ...

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