Just came across the Stop Blocking! initiative launched by Shel Holtz. Great idea, aimed at those companies blocking the use of social networking sites, especially Facebook, by their employees. Shel has set up a wiki to collect all possible justifications for not blocking social networking sites at work – look forward to seeing what’s there in a few weeks time.
Someone is presumably going to say that companies aren’t harnessing the business potentials of Facebook and wasting a great opportunity. Think of the opportunity for sharing information within companies on a single personalised platform everyone enjoys using (far more fun than the boring old Intranet!); applications can be created to suit any business need; you can do everything on Facebook, so you’ll cut the time spent hopping from email, to the Intranet, to your address book etc; plus blurring the personal/professional boundary in networking compared to say LinkedIn, which is strictly professional, I think has great scope for relationship building.
I’m probably leaving something out here because I’m still not convinced by the business value of Facebook though… but what I do know for certain is that I wouldn’t want to work for someone who blocks my Facebook because they assume I’m so irresponsible that I’d spend my time turning people into zombies rather than work! Times are changing to the tune of employee empowerment. Talented people are in demand and thus employee/empoyer relationships are increasingly viewed as reciprocal. All other things being equal, banning the use of social networking can in the worst case frighten off excellent employees!
Any other reasons for allowing the use of social networking sites at work? Please let us know (or just add them to Stop Blocking!)