Monday, November 19, 2007

On Facebook Fridays

Through reading Tony Karrer's blog eLearning Technology, I've come across this article about the use of Facebook within a company.

It describes how a company called Serena Software has "Facebook Fridays"

The paragraphs highlighted by Tony are worth noting.

"Each Friday, employees are granted one hour of personal time to spend on their Facebook profiles and connect with co-workers, customers, family and friends."

“Social networking tools like Facebook can bring us back together, help us get to know each other as people, help us understand our business and our products, and help us better serve our customers-on demand. A corporate culture that fosters a sense of community and fun will ultimately help us get more done. Companies that do not embrace social networking are making a huge mistake.”
Despite my enthusiasm for Web 2.0 I'm really not sure about this use of social networking.

It's Friday, so you will network, you will use Facebook, you will connect with one another and our customers.
  • What happens for the rest of the week?
  • What if I don't want to mix home and work?
  • What if I don't want to update my Facebook profile?
  • What if I don't want a Facebook profile?
  • What if I want a private life?
This initiative just doesn't seem right.
You will be "friends" because the CEO says so seems doomed to failure.
It's not team building, it's not creating a sense of community, it's not embracing social networking it's imposing it.

That's not how the world works



  2. I work at Serena and have found this to be very useful. We have offices all over the world, and while this isn't really our "corporate internet", it does give us the ability to get to know people we interact with daily in a deeper and more personal way.

    A long time ago, I had a manager who insisted that because of the inherent depersonalization of email, that we begin all emails with "Hi [firstname]" to set a friendly and personal tone. Facebook gives me the ability to see the people I only interact with formally as real people. It changes the tone of the organization as a whole, and of the individual relationships that ultimately make us work as a company.

    It also doesn't hurt that some of us old fogeys are coming to understand (and embrace) the cyber-world of the younger generation who will be a big part of our potential employee pool and our market.

    I think it makes us a better company.