Something new, something old

February 4, 2009

GYI0000473742.JPGNot very long ago the notion that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools might have a useful function at work was, well … something you didn’t talk about maybe? Because (a) you didn’t know what it was, and (b) it sounded like something that could get you in trouble?

Here’s a thought along those lines from Devora Rogers of the Emerging Media Lab:

It wasn’t long ago that employers were trying to figure out how to forbid staff from accessing their social networking profiles while at work. Just three years ago, when I worked as a producer for a reality TV production company, the HR Director released a note to all staff: Use of IM during the workday is grounds for termination. Period. Wow, I thought then.

Now, observes Rogers, “It’s becoming a legitimate way to do business.”

We’ve come a long way baby – and it makes me realize how we should have been here long before this, and how far we still have to go.

Today we have both internal and external social media activities at LaRC: NASA Langley, Technology Gateway and Yuri’s Night Twitters, 40th anniversary of Apollo Facebook and Yuri’s Night accounts, openLangley and an affiliated FB group, an upcoming LaRC Facebook, and internal blogs like this one and TeXpo and The world is flat, and a bunch of people Yammering …

We’ve got Baby Boomers in the office signing up to personal social networking accounts … it’s gone mainstream. Earlier this week I convinced the 60-something vice president of the International Association of Sheet Metal Workers to join Facebook and become a NASA friend. And our own Duncan Mciver has an Langley Alumni Association FB account.

What is next?

– M. Finneran

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4 Responses to “Something new, something old”

  1. Bob Allen Says:

    I thought the term ‘Wacko Media’ was a tongue-in-cheek term that Rich coined because of the uphill battle he assumed the team would face in breaking down preconceived opinions from Langley staff and management rather than an editorial comment from Rich himself.

  2. mpfinneran Says:

    It could be!

  3. Melissa (Dorsey) McDowell Says:

    And here I was blaming Mike for that. 🙂


  4. Indeed…what is next? I agree how far we have come, and I agree it’s not far enough. As everyone signs up for Facebook at work, and as companies far and wide start to play with internal portals, how to make the spaces as meaningful as they were when they started out–when you didn’t have 10 social profiles, but one. And how to ensure it’s not just co-opting social media for social media’s sake, but truly in the spirit of increased cooperation and knowledge sharing. Can’t wait to see how things evolve…thanks for keeping the dialogue going.


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