The 2011/10/11 at 05:50
Companies in the French department of Gironde now have their own social network on Internet: icci.cci.fr. Created six months ago by the CCI of Bordeaux when the Chamber was revamping its web site (1), this tool has met with considerable success amongst companies in Gironde, the prime target of the project, but also beyond the department’s borders. Some 1,400 accounts have been opened, including those of Bordeaux company clubs. “We drew inspiration from Facebook, the best existing model in terms of simplicity of usage,” explains Philippe Garcia, Communications Manager of the CCI and initiator of the project. Companies therefore have access to a personal space, with their own profile, newsfeeds, the option of sending messages and chatting.
But according to Philippe Garcia, the heart of the Chamber service is not found here. “What is new is the setting up of a network information system.” On the basis of the principle that most small companies have no Intranet system, the CCI has chosen the possibility of setting up private groups, notably allowing members to exchange documents. Users may nevertheless belong to different companies. In all cases, a moderator designated by the members must validate every new participation request. The social network also allows the opening of public groups, to promote the emergence of collaborations within the one sector, or even beyond. “Entrepreneurs from different horizons can indirectly do business together, through the exchange of ideas, contacts or occasional project collaborations. Without a network like this one, it is more difficult to build bridges between activities,” considers Philippe Garcia. Public groups also allow companies to gain greater local visibility.
But a warning to companies that join for self-promotion purposes: they will be redirected to more “appropriate” groups by the network’s moderators. To promote its web site, the CCI has launched a competition that will last until 24 October (www3.jeuconcours.fr/ccibordeaux). “On the first three days, out of the 1,500 persons who logged onto the game’s home page, 800 participated. This is not a gauge of registration on the network, but confirms the enthusiasm that meets different technological innovations set up for companies,” rejoices Philippe Garcia. Two CCI employees work full time on the Chamber’s new web site (more interactive than the previous one) and the social network social icci.cci.fr, for which other French CCIs have shown interest. If the latter decide to integrate the tool to their own web sites, the CCI of Bordeaux will transmit it to them free of charge. Billing applies only to IT developments necessary to adapt the tool locally. The Aquitaine Regional Chamber of Commerce (CCIR) has already decided to adopt this tool for its internal communication.
(1) The cost of the renovation of the web site and the social network totalled 90,000 euros, paid for by the CCI of Bordeaux. Usage of icci.cci.fr is free of charge.