Monday, September 13, 2010

Social Media and Work

Beth just isn’t having a good day.

I understand, however, where the pointy-haired boss is coming from. Though social media has the magic juju of helping business people connect with their customers, not everyone at work really needs that kind of interactivity, no matter how much we might say to the contrary.

Take me, for example. I don’t necessarily need to “network with my peers” when it comes to writing documentation on how to handle nuclear waste. What we do is fairly unique to our own installations, so there’s no real need to appeal to outside help. We get a lot of help internally, but we can do that by phone, e-mail or in person – we don’t need the social networks.

That doesn’t mean I don’t try to keep up with what’s going on in technical communication – or in the subsidiary worlds of journalism, social networking and other areas. I read a lot of research, just not on company time.

Still, the ability to use some “social” aspects of the Internet at work would be helpful. I do know the reasons why we don’t have access to the following, but I still believe that with a bit of responsibility on my side, I could use them without trouble: I’m an online instructor (on paper right now, that is) at a local university. We use to help set up our courses. I can’t access it at work, and any e-mails sent from to my work address are blocked. Trouble is, I’ve forgotten my password, and since it’s tied in with my work account (a mistake on my part, I admit) I can’t get back in, since the e-mails to reset my password get lost in the system. I may have to re-establish a connection through my university address, rather than fight the system any longer. How I’ll be able to do that without accessing, however, I don’t know.

Non-company e-mail. Here I’m talking Gmail and Yahoo! mail, both of which I use for personal and business reasons. I don’t use them for company reasons – which should take the curse off the at-work block, since I use company e-mail for company work.

That’s it. I don’t need Twitter or Facebook, or even this blog at work. Other things, however, would be pretty handy.

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