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Friday, August 6, 2010

It doesn't matter what you say...

it's what you do that counts...

Jane Hart is trying to get a little campaign going for why social media should be allowed in the workplace.

I am a fan of informal (social) learning.

BUT. Today I agreed that we would shut off access to Facebook at our firewall! What a hypocrite I am

We have been looking into a number of system issues this week and our event management suite has been running very slowly.

It turns out that a number of my staff had been using the thin client application on which our system is presented to get round the group wide restrictions on the Internet. Essentially although Facebook is blocked at the firewall for the whole group, they had cleverly found a back door.

This showed up on the traffic reports which spiked at lunchtime.

Having found the problem our IT people deleted over 7GB of temporary Internet cookies from the server allocated a little more virtual memory and suddenly it's like we have a whole new application.

So maybe I shouldn't be allowed to lend my support to Jane's campaign. But in my defence people can still see LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare, Flikr, Google Docs, Google Reader, Ning, Blogs etc. So it's not all bad.

The 10 reasons not to use social media that Jane is responding to are:

  1. Social media is a fad.
  2. It's about controlling the message.
  3. Employees will goof off.
  4. Social Media is a time waster.
  5. Social media has no business purpose.
  6. Employees can't be trusted.
  7. Don't cave into the demands of the millennials.
  8. Your teams already share knowledge effectively.
  9. You'll get viruses.
  10. Your competition isn't using it, so why should you?

Someone else can take up cudgels on number one and provide stats for the companies who use it. Number two is the job of the IT department. Number three is so absurd is hardly bears repeating. Numbers 4,5,6, 7 & 8 are all the same point poorly reformulated. If your employees goof off it's your fault as a manager; either give them something more interesting to do, motivate them, accept an element of goofing as part of life or find people who don't goof off. Number 9 is naive in the extreme, anyone who thinks they can control information has no job in management. And as for number 10, well that can't be answered just yet, only time will tell.


Jane Hart said...

Hugh, thanks. I have added your thoughts to the list. Sorry to hear about the Facebook issue though, wasn't there any alternative solution than to shut it off completely? Jane

Jenni Wright said...

Thanks Hugh for your little book. I received it in the mail today. Your kindness is appreciated.

Jenni Wright