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Why Invest in Social Networks and Online Communities? Chapter 3 41 for the importance of what they did. Absolutely, they were disappointed; after all, they just lost their jobs! But the point is that they didn't leave the department mad and with a desire to never come back, to hurt the reputation of the depart- ment, and to warn other potential employees from ever working there. As this illustrates, social networks and online communities can have tremen- dous positive effects in organizations that have made a commitment to flat- tening their organizational hierarchies because they enable information to be shared that leads to better morale, shared responsibility, and more creative solu- tions to problems. CONCluSION This chapter discussed 10 different reasons your organization might be able to benefit from the development of social network and online communities. Whether or not all 10 of these make sense for your particular needs depends, as I indicated at the beginning of the chapter, on whether you're building your system for internal use by employees, for public use by customers, or possibly for use by an organization you support, such as a social group, church, or professional orga- nization. Still, these are some of the most compelling reasons I've found in my