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Social networking: Not IT’s problem

Interesting story over at ComputerWorld with some best practices for deploying solutions.

“There is tremendous value to be gained from social networking tools. But you need to make sure that there are actual people that are responsible for making sure that the community is interacting in a way that fits the goals of the community,” she says. Doing otherwise puts the organization at risk for lawsuits and other malicious behavior. “Organizations have to manage the technology or it will come back to hurt them.”

Jim Klein, director of information services and technology at California’s Saugus Union School District, puts this advice into practice every day. Klein and his team recently rolled out social networking tools, including blogs, to the district’s faculty, students and staff. However, Klein has put many controls in place so that IT and the school are protected from users running amok.

Social networking: Not IT’s problem

One Response

  1. By Philip Calvert on June 4th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    This is an important issue – but if the aims and goals of the club/group/network are spelled out clearly to users right from the start, this should not be a problem.

    Problems can also happen if the group’s owners behave badly – by perhaps posting fake blogs. The community will always see through this! After a while, the group will also moderate itself – but initially the key is for the owners to add mountains of top quality content with which to engage the members.

    I run ‘mini social networks’ or online business clubs for Reuters, Zopa, a group of financial advisers, a radio station and 30 other groups, and to date noone has ‘misbehaved’ themselves. Why? Because the network members are there for the high quality content first and foremost.

    My other job is to occasionally ‘throw a pebble in the water’ to promote response if things are getting quiet.

    Philip Calvert
    Author, Speaker, Internet Marketing and Social Media Consultant

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