“Stop that nonsense F**k book....!” Sounds a bit extreme, obviously it is. But this is what most of the Universities and organizations say, not in words but in their actions instead.
I don't know what their logic is but one thing is sure, their logic is really poor. Would you tolerate employees who do not communicate to each other or with clients, the question sounds absurd. But then why are we limiting their communication to physical world only, why are we proscribing them from communicating with each other and with prospective clients in the Cyber Space.
You may feel that I am being melodramatic but I am just being realistic. The fact of the reality is that if you want to succeed as an individual or as a corporate you cant ignore the ability of Internet to carry information, mobilize crowds and act as an agent of social and political change.
Marketing for Free:
Fox News (one of the most famous news channels of the world) as of April 2009, was available to 102 million households in the United States and further to viewers internationally, broadcasting primarily out of its New York City studios. What are the number of users Facebook has, More than 500 million active users. If you want to advertise your product over Fox News it would cost you in multiples of thousands of Dollars but if you advertise over Facebook what would it cost you....? Nothing it is essentially Free.
Yet there are businesses who don't take online platforms seriously. They portrait these websites essentially as a distraction for the employes. I don't think any manager would mind his employes chit chatting with each other while taking a ten minute break from work. Social Networking Websites are essentially ten minute breaks for employees.
Tools of Social change:
The dawn of 2011 saw two of the most heroic movements that shook the foundations of the Dictatorship first in Tunisia and then in Egypt. What was so peculiar about these movements, of course they were an outcome years of frustration amongst the masses but the thing that was really interesting was that they were not not lead by any group venerable politicians but by Internet Savvy youngsters who used Facebook, Twitter other social networking websites as a means for organizing youth.
Source of Updates:
Following the 26/11 Attacks on Mumbai the whole city came to an halt, the situation was more or less paralyzed and no one actually knew the complete story of what had happened. The main stream media was trying to bring updated information but the actual real time information was not on TV but on internet. Within few hours of attack Tweets started pouring in. People quickly reacted and updated the information on social networking websites like Facebook. The entire city became a group of Citizen Journalists who shared online their views, reactions, escape Stories,etc. Several blogs sympathizing with those who had lost their lives flared up in the following week and received condolence not only from Mumbaikars but from people around the world.
January 25,2011 saw one of the most dramatic violation of rights of the citizens of free India. As some Patriots were marching towards Kashmir to host the National Flag at the Lal Chownk (To send a strong message to Separatists) they were bullied by the state government, stopped and arrested.
While this ridicule was going on the main screen, some serious stuff was going on behind the scenes. The real time information of the events taking place was not available on TV or Radio but on twitter. Sushma Swaraj was tweeting minute by minute detail of the events going on.
The power of social networking is anywhere and everywhere, it is all pervasive. It is wise to understand and benefit from it. For starters all mangers should take Social Networking as an integral part of Human Communication. Organizations and Universities need to unblock the URLs of popular websites.