"I think very soon enterprises will start defining how, when, what and where their employees do with and on social media."
I'll go one step further. I think that we will cease to use the term 'Social Media' because we will realize that the mediums are irrelevant. Instead, we'll just accept that this is just how fast the world's information now moves.
No problem, Bolaji. Glad to throw my two cents around. This is the largest problem we face as content contributors. How do I keep up in the face of so much content?
It is easy for an individual to say "I don't spend my time there" when asked to join a new network. But from the business side, and from a content creator perspective, it's a harder row to hoe. Where followers can choose where they want to spend their time, we in the business don't have the luxury of cutting out an audience. It is difficult and time-consuming, I agree. And the best we can do is...well, the best we can do.
And as for over-connecting? I think that's a question of bandwidth. There is a point that many groups (and even individuals) outsource the management of their social profile. I am not a fan, but it is the reason so many SM companies remain in existence. Groups like yours do it strictly to keep up with comments that can be posted in any one of 5 or 6 places.
I think that, from a business perspective, a paid solution like Radian6, Argyle Social, or Sysomos is well worth the money. They save time, energy, and sometimes even your bottom line by 'seeing' the things that you may not and allowing you to get about as close to 'real time' management as one can get in this content-flooded world.
Barbara, I would suggest you hasten with deciding what you want to do with Social Media because so far companies have allowed employees to make this kind of decisions. I think very soon enterprises will start defining how, when, what and where their employees do with and on social media.
This is a great discussion and I have learned a lot from reading the message string. Like Bolaji, I have yet to figure out which network to use for what and I haven't consolidated them into a single "feed". I know I can do this if I spend the time and I will. Unfortunately, what I've found out about social networks, which are supposed to make our lives easier, has actually made them more complex when you weigh the personal/professional boundaries.
Andy, I apologize for putting you on the spot again but I would really appreciate your insight on another issue, one which you touched upon in your last response. Many of us are on various social media outlets. I understand all these serve (sometime) different functions and purposes but in essence they are all the same.
I am on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are others out there. Today, a contact that is already on my Facebook and LinkedIn connections asked me to connect with him on Google+. Can one "over-connect" personally and professionally? Like many people, I don't have the time to stay on top of all these connections or even go to the sites each day. When companies encourage the use of all these connections, how should they advise workers to parcel out their time?
Good questions, Bolaji. Ones that are hotly contested right now, even if most instances don't make the news. And the best answer I can give is, 'It Depends'. In this case, if you throw out the he said-she said of it all where he says they gave him permission to take the twitter account with him and they said they didn't, the underlying question remains.
I would say that you should have written permission to take a Twitter account and its following if it was opened in the name of the company, such as the 'Phonedog_Noah' was. It is both his and the company's fault for not tying up that loose end as he was leaving or preferably, earlier.
My thoughts would be different if it had been his Twitter account originally, said something like "thoughts on this account are my own"--a clear statement that the account was a personal account and should be treated differently. This is the standard for personal accounts in the business world and is of critical importance as the social channel is the largest personal branding platform that has ever existed. LinkedIn wrote the book on this.
Bottom line: I think the days of ignorance of the power of social channels should be at an end. The company wouldn't have let this happen with an email account, would they? Or a client list? If you are going to authorize individual social accounts in a business, you should have your communication policies changed to include these types of accounts. That way, in the case of someone leaving the company, the lines are clear.
Susan, I largely agree with you but as you are aware social media is becoming integral to many companies' marketing initiative and they are, as a result, spending money on helping employees improve their skills and "connections" in this area. I cannot walk out with my employer's mailing list or cirulation list and many companies will take the same stand here. Is the employer going to have to set out the parameter for this engagement or will the court decide who owns what?
I couldn't help reading your questions to Andy and here are my thoughts:
"who owns the "friends" and "connections" an employee develops while working for a company?"
When an employee manages to make his social media connections it's the same as if he would have been in a cocktail party exchanging business cards and adding those contacts to his address book. He owns his address book despite he is working for A. If next month he changes job and goes to work for B he still owns his address book and is free to do with his contacts whatever he wants. The company has no right to claim ownership of his contacts because the employee devoted his own time, effort, social skills and communication skills to build his list of contacts.
"What rights do both parties have to this valuable resource and how is the industry treating this subject?"
If in good will the employee wishes to share his connections, the ones he developed in the virtual or real cocktail parties while working for his former employer, the employer should be grateful for this is an act of sharing. If the situation is one where the employee is actually being fired he might not be willing to share anything and instead keep his "address book" as his capital to add value to his next job application.
It all depends on the individual case and this topic should be also treated from an ethical perspective.
Rich, You raised a set of important questions: What is the value of these "friends," "connections," postings and what kind of value can we place on the accuracy of the data generated via social media? Just as you could be the "lead singer" of some band and I could be in the "astronaut corps," so could anyone develop a false personality on a social media site. At the corporate level also, it's quite possible for a company to create for itself an image that may be distinct from reality even if only barely so.
You asked who should be tasked with the role of verifying information online. It comes down to the individual or the enterprise; government should not be in that business. I wonder if we all pad the image we present of ourselves online!
I suppose it depends on the friend you are considering for this example. It's a good question, though. Then we should determine if we are only going to read what goes hand in hand with our current interests or if we are also going to read some blogs or articles about other topics just because they were written by one of our friends and we want to support him. There is the time issue, as you well pointed out.
I have been in that situation and it's not an easy one. I also tend to read first what is of my professional interest. I guess we all like our writings to be read, especially to let our friends know what we are doing. But yes, it's true that not all our friends are interested in some of the topics we write. I have a very good friend who couldn't care less about tablets, the results of the electronics sales in 2011 or any other thing that you and I would consider interesting. So I don't really bother in sending her anything of the kind. If I write something related to science and medicine, or an app for diabetic patients I send it to her, she is a researcher on Type 1 Diabetes.
Maybe we have to be selective in both to whom we send our writings and what writings we read from our friends.
Another one of my friends didn't know who Steve Jobs was until he died so you can imagine her interest in anything I could write about Apple, Nokia or anything else technology related. On the other hand, she loves to read my articles about film festivals, arts and stories about Finland.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.