A productivity paradox

It’s gotten hard to pay attention to technology news without hearing a report from Websense or Challenger, Gray & Christmas or some consultancy tallying up the lost productivity companies suffer as employees spend time on Facebook and other non-work-related websites. The numbers sometimes reach into the billions of dollars. How do companies survive?

The answer of course, is that the studies are a load of crap. Not taken into account is the fact that a lot of the time spent on these sites does have a work-related dimension to it. Also not taken into account is the fact that workers put extra time to make up for the time spent online,… Read More »

An activist social media release

In episode 278 of For Immediate Release, I reported on a brouhaha erupting over Facebook’s deletion of a user’s account that included a photo of her breast-feeding her child.

A variety of actions followed Facebook’s action (you don’t want to mess with lactivists), including the production of a protest video uploaded to YouTube—where it was banned. Not about to be silenced, The League of Maternal Justice (the effort of “two moms turned undercover mama vigilantes"which apparently sprung into existence in October, when an initial item appeared on its blog) produced psuedo social media release on its site. As any self-respecting social… Read More »

FIR Interview - Jeremy Burton, CEO, Serena Software, on Facebook Fridays: November 16, 2007

While reports continue to flood out of the business world of companies blocking employee access to online venues—notably social media and especially social networks—Serena Software has taken the opposite approach, actively encouraging employees to network with each other on Facebook. Serena’s CEO, Jeremy Burton, has written about his philosophy for ZDNet Asia; the company even issued a press release about it.

In this exclusive FIR Interview, Shel Holtz talked with Burton about the “Facebook Fridays” program, his view of the value social networks bring to the organization, and his opinion about how other companies are handling employee… Read More »

We love social networks…no, wait, we hate them…no wait…

There seems to be a case of split personality going on in a lot of companies. On the one hand, the blocking of social media sites continues apace. On the other hand, the adoption of social media in the enterprise is also on a growth spurt.

McAfee, the security company, is out with a study that concludes that one-third of bosses block employee access to music downloading sites like iTunes to dating sites. A quarter block access to sites like YouTube. More than half wish they could block access to social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, but only 20% have taken the step. McAfee suggests the rest have resisted because the sites… Read More »

Facebook advertising: There must be a model that will work

Much of the reporting of Microft’s acquisition of a piece of Facebook has questioned the ultimate value of the social network. (Microsoft’s investment puts the total value of Facebook at about $15 billion.) With advertising as the only significant revenue channel, many are wondering if people networking on sites like MySpace and Facebook are paying any attention to the ads.

In a tweet today, Todd Defren underscores the point:

For all the hoopla about Facebook, you’d think there would be a wider variety of (classier) advertisements. It’s all “romance” stuff now.

While I did see an ad on Facebook today from Chrysler, you still have… Read More »

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