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November 08, 2010


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Account Deleted

did you see this?

Does your social networking policy violate federal labor laws? by @MikeVanDervort http://ow.ly/368o1

i am not sure what "protected concerted activity" is . . . the imagination reels-- jl

Michele Price

Chuckle, only you David would think to write this.

Now the question is when will today's companies ask better questions...

"How can we use social media to do our jobs better and build stronger relationships with our clients and vendors?"

"Where can we be available and establishing our value while our competitors doubt the validity of social media?"

More importantly...
"Let's hire someone who can help us with this so we are not wasting time and dollars figuring it out along the way"

Thanks for starting the conversation with great visuals and humor.

Kyle Hendren

A nice parody on the communication changes affecting us today. I am sure there have been many corporate directives/letters like this preventing the use of Twitter and Blogs to talk with partners and customers. What I fear is the phone becoming obsolete, to be replaced by electronic communication. Human contact is still vital to business success. I wonder if the next generation will have the skills to interact face-to-face or over the phone effectively.


Obviously you interviewed my boss for this article. :)


Nice! Actually, I have disabled the voice mail on my office phone about 6 months ago and so far nobody complained...

Steve Johnson

In the 80s it was voicemail.
In the 90s it was the internet.
In the 00s it is social media.

Remember how the record companies failed to embrace Napster and Mp3s?

Companies continue to reject new ideas and new ways of connecting with clients. What newfangled technology is next?

Maybe you nailed it. These technologies interrupt the factory mindset that permeates our business world. I don't know about you but I've never worked in a factory.

Thanks for another fine perspective, David.

Michelle Golden

A favorite analogy of mine re social media in the work place. Absolutely astounding, isn't it? Love the link from Justin Locke about NLRB. Thanks!!

Tara Parks

What a perfect analogy to explain to managers why it’s important to engage new technologies, rather than avoid them. However, it’s also important to remember where our managers are coming from and how scary it is for people to lose “control” over their brand. The question is, how can we make managers feel safer about change? Is it possible? More specifically, how soon should we hold ourselves accountable to prove the ROI on these new technologies? Can we really expect managers to welcome change if we can’t prove its effectiveness right away?


Monday laughs welcome!

This should be a mandatory read for all Execs. It must be so painful for most companies to even think about letting the social tools enter their floors. I guess to some it may be like thinking they are going to be working in the nudist colony - nakedness is "not" natural... and with social communication the world does become more -- naked, since transparency rules govern the new world.
Love your analogy David!!!

Beth Robinson

Love it. Absolutely wonderful. Especially the "private life" part and the "things that could go wrong" part.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for all these great comments. I'm in Malaysia now, so was unable to comment in real-time.

Michele - absolutely - rather than say "no" smart companies say "how can we benefit?"

Kyle - New technology doesn't make personal contact obsolete. It just changes how we interact. The phone & TV did not destroy in-person events.

Steve - I remember in the mid-1980s when the company I worked for "refused to support PCs because they were not officially sanctioned."

Kim & Tara - If I were the CEO, I would fire those managers you describe. Fear of change is no excuse for not embracing it when your customers, partners, & the media are all communicating in that way, If you can't get with the program after 15 years of Web-based communications, there is no longer hope. Harsh? Yes. Maybe that's why I was fired several times from executive positions and am now on my own...


Nail on the head. In a former position, years ago, a 'crisis' meeting from the top was called about "all these young interns" on something called Facebook. Meeting parlayed into, "Let's get our company on it and sell stuff and make them all be our friends!"
Stacy @ Mightybytes

David Meerman Scott

That's the spirit Stacy.

Ricardo Sueiras

Great piece, witty and with high impact but there is something troubling me....

I am not sure how much the telephone is used to actually connect directly with customers any more. Are telephones used primarily as an internal tool, or a workflow tool to get stuff done? I am not convinced that comparing the telephone to social media works as they are very different use cases - but hey, please prove me wrong, I am there to be convinced...

Christina Pappas

What did happen to the telephone? Everyone is texting, Facebooking and Twittering. What happened to having a conversation? Does anyone have time for chit-chat anymore? Just read Rohit's blog about the death of the private practice http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2010/11/what-you-can-learn-from-the-death-of-the-private-practice.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rohitbhargava+%28Influential+Marketing%29

We need to bring back the art of conversation. Kids are not even calling each other anymore and my younger cousin struggles with conversation. But she can text like a maniac.

Cristina Mariani

so sadly true, David...thanks for sharing


Though I agree with more use of interactive use of social media for communication internally and externally compared to phone call. But I feel conversation, having real person on the other end of phone is kind of important too. Recently I got call from kya jewelers. I don't even remember when I was last in the store. But they called to invite me to special event on local store. I thought that was interesting but with that said I hate the cold marketing calls trying to sell things.


Please people, maintain some perspective about this "loss" of conversation.
First. We are people, we are social. We will always interact with each other. Language is just one way. Always has been, and is the newcomer in human communications, evolutionarily speaking.
Conversations have always changed over time. Do parents,children, workers and bosses talk today like they did 50 years ago? Didn't think so.
So drop this "concern' about the "lost art" of face-to-face conversation. You are just complaining about change.
The kids are alright, and will laugh at our concerns, if they even understand us, when they are running things.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for injecting some sanity Santo!


The Data Protection Commissioner accepts that organisations have a legitimate interest to protect their business, reputation, resources and equipment. To achieve this, organisations may wish to monitor staff’s use of email, the internet and the telephone

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