Five reasons not to let social media tools onto your intranet

In preparing for my presentations this week, I created a slide describing the Top 5 potential conundrums you might face in deploying social media tools on a corporate intranet. Here they are:

  1. What if …? This is the first question that invariably arises … ‘What if employees publish rude, defamatory, racist, abusive, etc information on our intranet, or waste time on social networks and blogs when they should be working?
  2. Information governance – how to you manage crowd-sourced content to comply with regulatory rules, information retention policies, etc?
  3. Wisdom of crowds with no crowds – does wisdom of crowds theory work when the ‘crowd’ is limited to the relatively small user base of a company’s employees – will the result be ‘unbalanced’ information and opinion?
  4. Loosing control of the message – how do you communicate with employees when they can communicate very well among themselves using these tools?
  5. Mixing business and personality – how do you strike the right balance between publishing ‘business’ information from ‘personal’ perspectives?

And … here are my answers … 🙂

  1. Manage expectations through robust, clear, simple policies – emphasise personal responsibility and encourage community policing … collaboration is NEVER a waste of time … it’s the future!
  2. See my earlier post called: Governing the ungovernable
  3. See my earlier post about Web 3.0
  4. See my article: The Future of Internal Communications
  5. Businesses are made up of people who have opinions. Like it or not, every human being sees the world from their own unique and personal perspective – letting people express themselves is the fast track to engagement. If you ‘dehumanise’ information you end up with ‘data’, which should be locked away in databases and only let out on special occasions to populate reports …

I read this recently somewhere … can’t remember where, but I think it describes nicely why letting people have their say is important and why worrying about what people might say, or trying to control what they say, is both futile and undesirable:

Man: ‘How do I become wise?’

Wise man: ‘By having sound judgement.’

Man: ‘How do I develop sound judgement?’

Wise man: ‘Through experience.’

Man: ‘How do I gain experience?’

Wise man: ‘Through bad judgement.’



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