The U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year banned access to YouTube, MySpace, Photobucket, StupidVideos, MTV, and a bunch of other Web sites by soldiers stationed abroad. It makes sense. We're at war, and soldiers shouldn't be playing around on the Internet, sucking up bandwidth, and opening up the military network to security compromises.But what about your employees? Does access to social networking, video-sharing, and other new media online capabilities mean wasted time and lost productivity or are there legitimate business reasons they might be on those sites? Site blocking is the Defense Department's quick and easy answer to the proliferation of rich media applications. But it's not the only solution and may not be the best one for companies trying to take advantage of all the creative energy surging around online communities and digital content sites. With the right infrastructure and controls, it's possible to keep access open to the many new applications that already are making people more connected and productive.
This is the topic of the first story in our Internet Evolution series. (This story will go live Saturday, find it here.) Aditya Kishore, a senior analyst at InformationWeek's sister organization Heavy Reading, examines the forces driving the new online ecosystem and ways that companies can capitalize on it. This series is being done in conjunction with internetevolution.com, our new Web site devoted to investigating the future of the Internet.
For more Internet prognosticating, check out Internet Evolution's ThinkerNet blog of more than 65 Internet contributors, including Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, global futurist and author Jack Uldrich, and General Motors CIO Ralph Szygenda. You'll also find videos, Webinars, news, and more at internetevolution.com.