Thursday, March 12, 2009

The use of Social Networking in the workplace

Don Tapscott wrote a nice post in his blog on Grown Up Digital (the site has the same name of his new best-selling book, called Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World), about the use of social networking in the workplace.

He starts the post with the Urban Dictionary's definition for Social Networking: “The practice of spending time unproductively on social-networking websites, especially when one should be working,” or “When you spend all days at your job on social networking sites such as facebook,myspace and twitter.”

He said: "if this is happening in your workplace, all I ask is that you don’t blame the technology and conclude that the best solution is blocking access to social networking sites. Social Notworking is a managerial problem, not a technology problem." and also said: "If a (probably young) employee spends all day socializing on Facebook, make it clear that this is not acceptable. But if an employee wants to take a five-minute break from routine work a couple of times a day and check out what his or her friends are doing via Facebook, this should not be viewed as a problem."

He finishes with: "Moreover, if you are the manager, appreciate that Facebook is increasingly used by businesses to keep employees up-to-date in fast-moving workplaces, just as some companies are adopting Twitter for the same purpose. If you’re perplexed as how this would work, ask your young employees to show you how versatile social networking sites have become."

I agree with him, increasingly the companies are using social networking to promote their business, products, services and keep contact with their customers. For example, as mentioned by Tapscott, Facebook and Twitter are excellent social networking tools to use with business purposes. Instead block the access to social networking sites, the companies should think about how can explore the social networking. If the social networking helped to elect the president of USA, also can help the companies to enhance their business. Think about it!

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