Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting a lot of social love from employees of Oracle the world over. A video interview that I did for CIO.co.uk a little earlier in the autumn has been tweeted dozens and dozens of times by people working for the Larry Ellison Relational Behemoth.

Well, I say “people”. I’m actually not so sure.

This goes beyond my usual snarking at the stereotypical tech company drone worker. Actually I’m not sure whether any of these “people” are anything more than a front for a particularly dumb bit of software. Certainly those that I’ve said thanks to haven’t returned my message.

What it appears to be is that Oracle have invested in a product that claims to..

Empower Employees to Become Advocates & Extend Your Brand Reach

… assuming of course that you want your brand to be one seen represented by dead-behind-the-eyes automatons.

This isn’t social networking. This is spam. It’s the Twitter equivalent of automated phone sales systems trying to convince me that I might have been stupid enough to purchase PPI.

It leads me to a sad conclusion. That the inevitable result of applying automation to a human communication channel is Spam.

It also strikes me as being the consequence of an organisation driven by metrics ahead of sensible strategy. I can imagine the conversation…

We need a social strategy!

What will be the measurable outcomes?

Erm, employee engagement and brand outcomes?

Ok, tell everyone that tweeting is part of their annual performance review KPIs. I want to see results on this!

Hey, I’ve found an app that will allow us to do this without interrupted workflows!

Awesome, where do I sign?

This isn’t social.

But in brighter news, Oracle, take a look at what the NHS are doing with their corporate account. They are handing out over to real people who work in their organisation to give wonderful vignettes about what life is like in one of the world’s largest employers. It’s awesome. And it’s very, very social.

You should do something like that. Or are you scared that maybe your people have nothing interesting to say?

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