I'm including this in a family-tech blog because kids just could some day be businesspeople! Aspects of social networking are really making inroads into the business world. One bit of evidence this week is the finding that "more than 50% of German companies use the means of communication provided by web 2.0, i.e. blogs, wikis and social networking." That's from Just4business.eu, citing a study by BITKOM and Oracle. Wikis (the collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia being an example) in particular are used to help match people with creative solutions to "particular tasks and problems." Other benefits cited: increased productivity, more cooperation between departments and company locations, transparency, increased productivity, and accessible documentation of work processes. Meanwhile, two US-based businesses, the New York Times and the professional social site LinkedIn, just struck a deal that allows the Times "to draw on all the personal profile data that users have entered on LinkedIn, such as the profession or industry they work in, as well as their job title, age, sex and location" the better to target advertising at NYTimes.com," the Financial Times reports. And Visa and Facebook have teamed up to bring "almost half a million small-business owners" to Facebook in an area of the service called The Visa Business Network, BankTech.com reports.