Reading from news (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10368956-36.html) today, a survey has shown that 54% workplaces block social networks completely. I'm glad to be in a company which is the 10% which allow social-network use at work so I can stay connected with my external partners and industry peers. It seems the debate on whether social media is a effective business tool or a productivity drain is still going on.
Personally, I think social media is going to repeat the history of email and instant messaging (IM) at work. Few years ago, there were skeptics about IM at work. Our CIO at that time, John Johnson, took the risk and deployed IM in Intel. Today, it's a productivity tool that I cannot live without. This morning I was troubleshooting a problem with a colleague waiting to broad a plane 16 hours away thru IM. I frequently talk to my colleagues around the world. They could be anywhere in office, at home, or on the road, when I need to connect with them. Whenever they pop up online, I can get hold of them. Without IM, life will be much more difficult and less productive.
I have been participating in a IT pilot program testing out Windows 7 in our environment. We have a Windows 7 group setup in our social media platform where we share BKM and help each other. I got workarounds from the forum for issues I ran into with the beta version of the operating system. I also contribute my findings and solutions back to the group. Together we are creating a rich knowledge base for the Windows 7 program team. The pilot users around the world were helping each other and saving each one of us a lot of time learning about the new OS, troubleshooting and finding workarounds. This is an excellent success story for social media at work. (Find out our Windows 7 experience here: The Value of PC Refresh with Microsoft Windows 7*)
What is your view of social media at work? Is your company putting up a strategy to adopt the technology?