Tuesday 11 September 2007

Social Networking a waste of time?

We have all heard the recent bad press that facebook is getting amongst the corporate "headstones" saying that employees are costing business millions in lost time on social netorking sites.

Luis Suarez has written a great post on the this called Facebook 'Costs Businesses Dear' - Does It Really? on his blog entitled ELSUA ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez (a must read for KM followers).

He raises the great point that maybe the surveys should be measuring how much time is wasted by employees trying to find experts to get the job done?

I am not saying that all organisations should allow a free-for-all on sites such as Facebook, but I would like to know if they understand what benefits social networking could bring to their business?

If not externally through Facebook-type sites, then at least explore ways to promote social networking internally. Who knows who will meet who and spark a great idea?

Luis puts it nicely:

How much longer would the corporate world have to go further, before realising the true potential of social networking; freeing up knowledge workers to do what they do best: share their knowledge with others and collaboratively innovate. . . .

. . . .if I were running a business I know what my option would be. Encourage my knowledge workers to hang out in various social networks, dive into the conversations, use them responsibly and continue building further up on what really matters: connect with people to share their knowledge and collaborate, instead of having to struggle time and time again trying to figure out how to get the job done smarter and not necessarily harder.

The full post is well worth a read here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between using a social network and a business network at work.

You can justify using a business network like Viadeo, Linked'in or Fastpitch at work to:

- find information about people you are going to meet with/negotiate with (pre-meeting prep)
- find clients, suppliers, business partners like business dating
- find business information in forums like those on Viadeo
- recruit colleagues or post ads for your business

A lot of businesses even expense the costs of a subscription to Viadeo or LI.

Pure social newtorks are another matter - that is akin to taking a private call at work, checking private email or using AIM/MSN for social chat with your friends - all of which happened long before FB!!

The simple rule is that this should be ok if it is done outside work time - say at lunchtime.

FB is a social network that has lots of young professionals amongst its members so you can still do a couple of the things you can do with a business network:
- see the profile of a graduate or young professional
- recruit a graduate or young professional

What companies should do is put in place clear policies of what is acceptable, when and where rather than blanket bans

Peter Cunningham