Whether its the widespread use of social media channels like Twitter and Facebook; the routine nature of publishing content straight from our phones; or the growing use of flipcams and digital cameras to capture moments in time – we are all susceptible to the 24-7 broadcast of our “on the record” lives. What’s more, nearly everyone we interact with whether at work, in the grocery store, or on the metro can be considered a member of the newly defined social media “paparazzi.”
Just yesterday, Mashable reported on a new study
by Proofpoint, an Internet security firm. The study found, “of companies with 1,000 or more employees, 17 percent report having issues with employee’s use of social media. And, 8 percent of those companies report having actually dismissed someone for their behavior on. That’s double from last year, where just 4 percent reported having to fire someone over social media misuse.”
It’s amazing to see what a little internet access can do to change the way we share, comment, question, and critique information. This weekend, Allen Salkin at
the NYTimes wrote
an interesting story
about the trends of chronicling every aspect of one’s life. As Salkin noted, “there is an electronic evolution of manners, with still-developing rules about when using social media is appropriate and when it isn’t.”
So, when it comes to work, when does it make sense to take convos off the “twecord?”
In the past several weeks, I’ve been in a handful of meetings that have been “twitter free zones.” On the one hand, this helps create a safe and comfortable environment that encourages the free-flow of information. But it has also made me think about how a simple change in our tone, our phrasing or even our level of detail depends on who is participating in the conversation. Think about your weekly staff meeting –vs- a meeting with an outside partner – where would you feel more comfortable being on the record?
There are some organizations who have gone as far as not allowing tweeting or the use of social networks at all during business hours. For some (myself included) this would greatly stifle productivity and the rich exchanges that can take place through blogs and social networks. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Peter Deitz, of Social Actions
has taken transparency to a whole new level by turning a number of his telephone conversations into podcasts
using the platform, Blog Talk Radio. He explained to me last week that he is fortunate to have some really interesting conversations with leaders in the field, and said, “why shouldn’t everyone have an opportunity to benefit from this knowledge sharing?”
Is your organization living in fear of the tweet, or embracing it? Some organizations want their employees to tweet official talking points and press releases for them, but prohibit them from sharing other information. Is that fair? Are they compromising individuals’ personal transparency/authenticity by doing that? Kristin Ivie started a popular conversation a while back that focused on the blurring of our personal and professional personalities online
. Much of that holds true to this conversation. What are some of the ways that your organization has created boundaries or encouraged the use of these tools?