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February 15, 2011

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» Why I Am Fascinated with Egypt's Story from Zane Safrit
I am fascinated and inspired by the events in Egypt since January 25. The courage of those around the country to stand up for their dreams, their families, their rights, their jobs, their future, their country is always inspiring. And... [Read More]

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TrafficColeman

Facebook is the center of the world now, and people are using it the have a voice..

"Black Seo Guy "Signing Off"

Christina Ing

"Of course, I do understand that countries and companies are different. There is no doubt that when life and death are involved, the matters of a country are infinitely more important than a mere company""

This was a good disclaimer after the whole Kenneth Cole fiasco the other week!

Anyways, I know of someone who has worked at a company where the social networks were blocked.

It's almost an issue of decreased employee morale since it's essentially saying that the employees are not trustworthy enough or do not have enough self-control to stay off social networks for non-company related purposes.

Heather T

Seriously? Employee-led corporate revolts over... Facebook?

I'm pretty sure America's workforce has more important issues than unbridled Facebook access during work hours.

True "authoritarian regimes" block access to Facebook for the entire country, all the time. They also control all other media, both social and official. Most of us have the freedom to access FB at home, on our own time, or on our own devices.

Now, if a company isn't using FB to engage its customers and potential customers, that's a different story.

But I highly doubt there will be riots in the streets of America over "backwards CEOs."

Perspective, people. Try it.

Jim Ernst

I do think that this will happen sooner than later. True, America's workforce may have more important issues than to have access to Facebook during the work day, but when it boils down to personal preference, I think the only ones that care about those issues are the backwards CEO's.

Banning facebook and other social media sites won't lead to rioting in the streets, but I can assure you that you will definitely see the affects in employee morale and when that happens work slows down.

Telling people that their personal sites are blocked during the day, tells them that the company doesn't find them trustworthy and that they are having Big Brother down their back. Yes, you can look at it on your mobile device, but you still know that someone could be looking over your shoulder.

Regardless of personal thought on the subject, the masses (especially recent college grads that spent most of their undergrad on FB not in class) will not stand for being blocked.

David Meerman Scott

Jimernstblog - Well said.

Heather T -- Yes, absolutely.

I've sat on several management teams over the years. The way this would play out is that as people get frustrated, brave ones will tell the HR people. Some people, as they leave the company for better jobs will mention it. Sooner or later, the HR people need to confront the issue. And if the CEO refuses to budge, then even the HR people might quit.


Webbasica

How ironic, the protests were in great part motivated by the high rates of unemployment. I don't think that if most of those people had a job, they would be protesting because facebook was blocked.

I actually wrote a blog post about the revolution 2.0 effect in Nicaragua. Warning though, it is in spanish:
http://www.webbasica.com/es/el-blog/987-El-efecto-Egipto,-visto-desde-Nicaragua

BTW, I can certainly appreciate how a company can block a social site to avoid workers spending too much time in them. Not everyone has the discipline to limit their leisure time. Bandwidth can be a factor too, at one point I had to talk to my colleagues to stop using youtube as their personal radio.

Amy

The Egyptian revolution has got lots of people thinking, and this post is another case of drawing parallels between the revolution and marketing.

And while I DO agree that a company's blocking social media and Facebook channels CAN be detrimental, I ALSO agree with several of the other comments: sometimes it's just a bad idea to have those sites accessible.

Productivity DOES sometimes take a hit. Sometimes there's not a social media policy, or it's not enforced, or people just don't think, and suddenly you've got a Kenneth Cole PR nightmare.

For a lot of companies, there's no need for every employee to be on social media. So why are they trying to access it?

It goes both ways: companies need to trust their employees, and employees need to earn that trust. As in government, it needs to be a two-way street.

I wrote something similar to this earlier in the week. Please stop by and let me know what you think:

http://www.digett.com/2011/02/14/bad-marketing-action-mubarak-and-egypt

David Meerman Scott

Amy - why do we let employees have access to the telephone, fax machine, break rooms, smoking areas, and email, but not social networks? All are tools of communications.

Jim Ernst

After reading this yesterday, I have been giving this a lot of thought and have been really reflecting on the post and the comments.

I understand why people are trying to argue against this possibility. They are simply afraid of the new and unknown. Social Media, has only existed in its current form for 5 years and has only really been a business thing for 3. We have accepted the use of old school communication tools, like phones, e-mail, and talking because it is something that is pretty much universally known. Most people don't understand Social Media yet, and are reluctant to grant permission to use something that they can't and might not want to use themselves.

Please check out the post I did on this today, http://tinyurl.com/5vu8bbo .

I really think that if a workplace "revolt" happens because of corporate policies, it isn't because of the struggle of freedom for employees vs corporate security, but more of old business vs new business and the old isn't ready to let go yet.

Nick Stamoulis

I don't know if I'd go so far as to compare the two, but I get the point. Companies should be using social media across the board these days. It's a great way to get the word out and engage with customers.

David Meerman Scott

That "Kenneth Cole thing" was one tweet among billions of tweets. Everyone talks about that. What an insane reason to ban technology.

Amy

I believe that employees have access to things like telephones, faxes, smoke breaks, and the like because they've been around longer — companies are just more used to them.

And while both can be distracting, I don't consider a telephone or fax machine to be as distracting as say, the recent addition of "The Oregon Trail" to Facebook.

It's also possible for sneaky employees to spend a lot of time on social media sites without their bosses noticing (windows minimized, hidden, etc.) It's much easier to police smoke breaks.

That said, most employees are not in high school, and should be trusted to make responsible decisions.

Jacq | standard postcard size

Interesting. I know most companies in other countries would ban certain computers from accessing sites such as Facebook. What they are afraid of is the possibility of using it for personal purposes rather than work efficiently. I all goes down to the idea that most employees have to be responsible of how they are going to use this tool.

web design richmond va

In today's world, social networking is extremely successful and social media marketing is very important to a business because of the sheer number of people that access these sites regularly.

MicroSourcing

There have been studies that show how employees are more productive when allowed to access FB and Twitter at work, because it allows them to relax, making for heightened productivity.

InspiroHost

Great article! I’ve known some establishments who blocks social media sites like FB and twitter. At some point it is a great idea to be able to let the workers focus in their task but on the other hand the above mentioned social media sites have become the employees stress therapy.

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