Friday, 28 September 2007

Page Blocked: Social Network

If you work in a corporate environment and browse the web then there is a chance you have encountered a message saying: Page Blocked.

I admit guilt. I sometimes surf the web during work hours and have seen Content Blocked a few times. I never really thought twice about it. I even thought I was the only one annoyed by it. Up until recently… when from a cubicle a few meters from mine a voice shouted:

"What! They have blocked Facebook AND MyPage."

Shortly followed by;

"Don’t they @#% trust me, it’s not like I don't already spend most of my time working."

It appeared that my colleague had been robbed of his Social Networking Tools. And was pretty annoyed too.

Apparently not everyone can use Facebook after all.

My colleague was truly upset. He was now deprived of his (webbased) Social Networking Tools. With which he maintained and expanded his social network, while working all over the world and not only during office hours, as he himself mentioned so eloquently. Isn´t it strange for a company, which values Integrity, to monitor their employees behaviour. Shouldn´t a company evaluate employees by their performance instead of monitoring their behaviour?

The event made me wonder. Why do companies block access to these Tools and to a lesser extent websites in general?

After browsing the web (at home!) I found lots of reasons that a company, who actively blocks content, provides. And funnily enough I also found a lot of information why other companies, for the same reasons, do not block content. I’ll present you with the two most common and likely most recognisable reasons why active blocking occurs. Additionally, I’ll present some facts that prove them wrong.

1. It reduces productivity of employees - Apparently, some companies forget their history lessons. When the email technology appeared it reduced the size of our world as we knew it and it is now an integral part of our corporate and private social life. Even tough in the early days companies objected to email when it was new, fearing that email made it too easy to inadvertently (or intentionally) leak proprietary information and cause a drop in productivity. Can you imagine work without email today? Would you be able to do the same amount of work without it.

2. It has no business value - Some companies already embrace new Networking technologies and use them to improve networking. Webbased Social Networking Tools are one of them. Other examples are Instant Messaging, Blogging (seen those quirky Corporate Blogs on hobbies and the latest best read?), Video conferencing, RSS feeds. The most extreme may well be Second Life, a MMORPG, were an impressive number of companies have embraced the opportunity to build their Network and gain a market advantage ($$$). All are examples of technologies which take advantage of new ways of communication and information transfer between social networks.

Can it be that one company uses these new Networking Tools to their competitive advantage, while another ignores them. No, even worse, fights against them? Does it all boil down to one thing.

"Don’t they @#% trust me."

Or are there other reasons these companies choose to stay behind?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Home Alone

My girlfriend is currently in the LA area for work. It’s a new job as Manager of a L&D Department for a US listed company. She is there to meet some of her overseas colleagues and attend several courses.

Great you’d think. Sadly I must admit that I’m worried… Common guys, wouldn’t you be? First thing that pops in my mind when thinking of LA is not very comforting.

So I gave her some instructions when she left.

    1. Text me when you arrive (I think that is were it all started to go wrong…

    2. Have fun (awww, yeah I’m a nice guy)

    3. Stay away from the most dangerous people in the LA.

She arrived at LA Airport (texted me ^^, instruction nr 1. met - check the box) were a rental was ready for her to drive to her hotel. Now I know for a fact she is a good driver, but the thing is I’m not so sure about the Americans in their big cars.

Would you not see that huge yellow bus? What was the driver thinking in that Hummer.

However, good thing is that so far she is enjoying herself. I am happy for her. I am also happy she is back with me in 51 hours 24 minutes and 12 seconds.

Bisou ma cherie.

First Post!

I’d like to write a meaningful introduction in the first entry on my blog. But I won’t. Instead I want to take this opportunity to get something in the clear.

There is a tradition among forum trolls and generally “funny” people. To get that tradition out of the way, once and for all, I bring you:

First Post!

Naturally there are always some stubborn epeens. For them:

Second, Third!

With that cleared I would like to point you to the disclaimer on the bottom of my shiny new blog. Read it? It probably has no legal merit and some may find it over the top, however I think a disclaimer makes my blog look nice and finished.

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