Friday, December 11, 2009

Respectful Practices in Social Media

A few years back, I had some great conversations with The Email Shrink, and a concept that he spoke of often was "respectful practices" in the use of email - one of them I'll paraphrase as don't flood your colleague's business email boxes with unnecessary junk - anything from a pointless "CC" to forwarding those intrnet chain messages containing jokes, photos or videos. The impact of doing this is pretty obvious - additional workload to deal with the unwanted emails. The point I take from this is consider the receiver before pushing Send.

So, I was looking at Facebook last night noticed that over 1/2 of the news feeds are generated from apps like Snowball Fight, Island Paradise, The Warlords, Tartan Treasures, Farmville, etc. etc. etc. which makes it difficult to identify (what for me is) more important updates and information provided by the friends network. I certainly respect and support people having the right to decide what they do (plus, "people will exercise free will as they see fit in all circumstances"), but I also think that social media, in particular as it is used in the workplace, will require additional considerations by everyone to ensure we all don't end up collapsing under the weight of having to deal with all the unwanted information. Plus, many of the min-apps available in social applications require that recipients take specific steps to block / opt-out of receiving information automatically generated. Again, more unnecessary work.

So, to all social media users out there, consider for a moment the impact of your choices on the members of your "network".

For business looking to leverage social media inside the enterprise, it might be advantageous to consider limiting the number of non-work related apps that can be installed on your social media platform. The risk of unnecessary distractions and productivity loss is significant, as is the impact of having this type of content around the organization in scope for any form of legal discovery.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I agree. If a sender has control over what they push, then a receiver should also have control over what they receive.

The ability to digitally filter information or to say "I don't want to receive this 'type' information anymore, but I want to continue receiving this" should be a good part of the design of all 2.0 applications, both Web and Enterprise. I'm going to explore this further in the social media that I use.

I wonder if that functionality is available in Email?