Monday, November 3, 2008

Social Networking Is Good For Business

Reuters: A new study from a British think tank says that managers shouldn't stop their staff from using sites like MySpace and Facebook, as social networking helps employees build closer links to colleagues and customers. The report from Demos' Peter Bradwell claims that online social networking helps foster productivity, innovation and democratic working environments.

However, despite the benefits, Bradwell said companies should also implement practical guidelines for non-work usage of social networks. "Bans on Facebook or YouTube are in any case almost impossible to enforce; firms may as well try to put a time limit on the numbers of minutes allowed each day for gossiping," he wrote. "We argue that we need to understand how, once we accept the implications of social networks, we can manage the new challenges and trade-offs."

Bradwell's research showed that banning social networks from the workplace is actually counter-productive. "Allowing workers to have more freedom and flexibility might seem counterintuitive, but it appears to create business more capable of maintaining stability," he wrote. Robert Ainger, corporate director of Orange Business, which co-produced the report, added that during an economic downturn, "the value of perhaps more important than ever and I believe it could mean the difference between a business collapsing or capitalizing on the tricky conditions."

It's a shame that social networking is in the process of jumping the shark!
In my opinion it's jumped. It jumped when the FB implemented the 'new' whizzbang facebook and it's only going downhill from there. Plus, I hear more often than not, the hate for social networks over the love for them. A lot of people I know, my early adopter friends, feel that this thing is a chore. And actually a hindrance. Once you're on there, you become a lifer.

Scott Brown wrote a great article in Wired last week - Facebook Friendonomics. It's about reconnecting coming in second place to the inability to disconnect. It's sad in a way- society will never really be the same again. If you decide to lose touch with someone in your facebook list, you can never completely let go of that connection, even if you go for the defriend.
Sometimes you just don't want every tom, harry and dick to know what you're doing. It's almost as if each and every individual has become a mini celebrity. Their gossip style, celeb inspired 'news feed' is fed through to all their friends, giving them an up to the minute, unnecessary commentary.

Combine your social with your work community, and I think it's a recipe for disaster. There is a large need to keep these 2 realms seperate. Do you really want that associate perving on your photos from that debaucherous stag night you had last weekend? Or when you're new squeeze decides to check out a one dimensional view of your personality on the FB? Or the killer is when people decide to announce they're in a relationship and then the relationship ends?....never a pretty update.

It's just all too much. There is a time and a place for everything. In the long run, a professional relationship has the potential to be tarnished by social network uploads.

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