Inigral’s answer is to carry the work relationships over into the social space. If we make friends with and hang out with the people we work with, we will probably feel better about our work, try harder to please our colleagues, be less afraid to ask for help from them, etc. Other efforts that focus on embedding social networking tools directly into an academic space like an LMS may have a tougher time of it. It’s not obvious that current-generation social networking tools will transfer to direct work tasks in the way that, say, presence awareness and chat do. There’s definitely some more thinking to be done in this area.
On a related note, Inigral has posted a survey regarding how new media is being used in higher education. If you have something to contribute in this area, please go on over and participate.