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Commentary
10/7/2009
04:21 PM
Stowe Boyd
Stowe Boyd
Commentary
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Enterprises Block Social Networks

A recent report suggests that businesses are trying hard to block access to social networking:

[via press releaseThe survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.CIOs were asked, "Which of the following most closely describes your company''s policy on visiting social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, while at work?" Their responses:
Prohibited completely 54%Permitted for business purposes only 19%Permitted for limited personal use 16%Permitted for any type of personal use 10%Don't know/no answer 1%
I am not surprised by the attempt at blocking access. Businesses view us as parts of the corporate machinery, and our reason for existence is to work on behalf of the company. That's why we get so little vacation time, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave in comparison to other nations.Here, only 19% will even allow use for business uses, only!Of course, there is nothing to stop people from using their phones to remain connected on these services if the companies block them at the firewall. This is an escape hatch, but still a pain.In a world where social networks are increasingly playing the role of early warming system and primary information resource, organizations that impose these sorts of draconian solutions will suffer, not benefit.

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