In this blog I’ll be talking about how we at IRISS use social media as well as the barriers our colleagues in social services face in using simple, but highly effective, tools such as Delicious social bookmarking or even Doodle meeting scheduler.
The great thing about social media is that it’s really easy to use. As Euan Semple so succinctly put it
It’s just the web, growing into our lives, becoming part of our work lives … It’s about people writing some text in a square box and ticking “save” – it doesn’t get more complicated than that
We’re not alone is advocating greater use of social media: organisations adding their voice to the arguments for embracing social media include:
- SOCITIM http://www.socitm.net/downloads/download/255/social_media-why_ict_management_should_lead_their_organisations_to_embrace_it
- NESTA http://www.socialbysocial.com
- LGiU https://member.lgiu.org.uk/whatwedo/Publications/Pages/3006092.aspx
- Carnegie Trust (http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/getattachment/ee2be1a3-8a94-4d8b-963f-94e29c8a9781/Making-the-Connection–The-Use-of-Social-Technolog.aspx
Yet, despite encouragement from these reputable organisations, practitioners are routinely blocked from using social media and are therefore largely unable to assess its potential. And the potential for supporting knowledge management and workplace learning and development is enormous.
We would like to see a culture in which staff are positively helped and encouraged to be more productive by developing confidence and competence in the use of the computers that sit, greatly underused, on their desks. As one employee development manager told us ‘we should be on Twitter and Facebook as a means of communication with our partner agencies’ http://vimeo.com/21390033
So, let’s start with the following questions:
- Why block access to Vimeo, the video sharing site? Vimeo make video distribution economically viable: £60 per year against the cost of duplicating DVDs.
- Why prevent people installing a Delicious bookmarklet on their browser so that they can use this great tool to create lists of web resources to share with colleagues?
- Why prevent access to Google Docs for collaboration? It’s so much easier than the version management chaos that inevitably follows from “please comment on the attached Word document”
Where data managers have concerns about security it would be great to have a discussion in order to understand the problems and look for solutions, so that people can, well, just do it!