E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Want to Continue Wasting Your Money? – Keep on Blocking Social Software behind the Firewall!

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After a couple of days of excitement coming from all over the place, here is something that I am going to be following rather closely from here onwards. And for a good cause. Through one of my fellow IBM colleagues, and good friend, Andy Piper, I have been checking out the new campaign that Shel Holtz has launched to help fight the blocking of a balanced and responsible use of social software in general within the corporate world.

As I said, Andy comments on his blog post about what Neville Hobson has also been mentioning and supporting quite closely: Stop Blocking! If you would notice, this is a campaign that tries to help stop businesses from blocking the usage of social software within the enterprise; call it, Facebook, call it RSS feeds, call it blogs, whatever. Not long ago, I created a weblog post, where I was reflecting on the kind of impact that not making use of social software was having within the corporate world. And for a good number of years!

Yet, and, as I am sure you have been able to read all over the place, it looks like plenty of businesses out there are still very weary of letting go that command and control attitude and start to thoroughly trust their employees much more than ever before to do the right thing, i.e. getting the job done using all of the resources at their immediate reach, including social computing tools in a responsible manner.

I can certainly understand some of the skepticism, specially when a balanced and guiding approach is not being used, but from that to say you ban the usage of social software in the workplace altogether is going a bit too far. What happened to experimenting with technology? What happened to trying out new collaborative tools and see if they would help knowledge workers improve the way they share their knowledge and collaborate? What happen to inspiring employees to continue innovating at a rampant pace? Are businesses letting the consumer market lead the way?

Somehow it looks like things are heading that way, unfortunately. And this is why I feel initiatives like Stop Blocking! are the right move forward. A powerful way of not just showing, but also demonstrating the kind of impact social computing can have within the corporate world and, much more importantly, the kind of negative impact it would have if we keep seeing more and more businesses closing down the social networking door.

It will be up to us now then to decide where we stand. I am not sure about you, but I have got it very clear. I am fully supporting the Stop Blocking! initiative!  I have already signed the petition and the badge I have included at the beginning of the blog post is very shortly going to be an integral part of this particular blog template.

I strongly believe this is our right to be more productive at work, getting the job done connecting and collaborating with the right group of knowledge workers and, above all, have the choice of deciding the tools we would want to make use of to share our knowledge, collaborate and innovate with other fellow knowledge workers (Remember "Knowledge will only ever be volunteered it can not be conscripted."?). So where do you stand?

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