Sunday, December 23, 2007

Privacy and Accuracy

Seems like just the time I settle in on a service of choice (for me it is my LinkedIn page), I receive a new request to join another colleague's network, which of course is based on their preference.

BusinessWeek reports an interested trend as more professionals create their online presence using these tools. A growing number of statups are aggregating information from various online sites like FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo and others to "track people and their reputations" as well as provide a single source for editing and maintaining their online profiles.

The challenge is around privacy and accuracy. For example, I recently received a request to join a colleagues network on Spock. When I arrived, I found several threads from other profiles I had created online, but also threads for others with my name, but who are clearly not me.

For the record, while these are real facts for others that share my name, they should not be showing up on my page on the Spock site:

  • Senior Project Manager at Northrop Grumman

  • Member of the State of New York Legislature in 1788

  • These can be confirmed by voting on or off one's profile, but the individual must go to the trouble to do this on a regular basis.

    From a workplace perspective, what should be taken into consideration when creating online profiles and how can you protect not only your privacy but also your credibility as those who do not know you may become confused as they are unable to distinguish names and who they belong to?

    SOURCE: Stead, Deborah, ed. (2007, September 24). It Isn't Just YourSpace Anymore. BusinessWeek, 13

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    "Professional" Social Networking

    Many professionals are warming up to the idea of using social networking tools to help extend their professional networks--especially those finding themselves in a job search. Popular tools are LinkedIn and Plaxo, but now that FaceBook has opened up to non-students, this is also emerging with some.

  • What concerns should professionals have when using these tools?

  • Should professionals keep separation between their "professional" and "personal" networks?

  • Should employers search these or other internet sources as they recruit or qualify candidates?
  • Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Virtually Everywhere

    Semper International, along with many other organizations are turning to Web 2.0 technologies for social networking, blogs and other technologies to play a key role in it's recruiting initiatives. Read more in the December 10, 2007 issue of Workforce Management .

    How does your organization use MySpace, LinkedIn, Second Life or Facebook for HR-related activities?

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Unintended Broadcasting

    One of the features of many social networking sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, MySpace and others is the ability to control the connections between family, friends, and colleagues and share information with them that others outside the network cannot see.

    Whether it is contact information, lists of favorites, or other bits of information, this feature is in large part one of the strengths of these tools which draw people together because of some shared interest or experience.

    Many of these sites are seeking ways to make a buck. The most common way to do this is either to provide features that are only available by agreeing to pay a subscription to access these features and the other way is to incorporate advertising.

    Steven Levy asks an interesting question about FaceBooks move to integrate "social advertising" into its site. This feature essentially generates an "ad" based on products or services used by its members. The problem Levy identifies is that these ads are not controlled by the members but are rather auto-generated by the site.

    There are numerous issues raised with this type of approach ranging from member privacy, control of information to unintended "sponsorship" of products and services used by members.

    From a workplace perspective, what issues are raised as members make personal choices for products which may be from competitors? Should employees fear retaliation from their employer as this information is "broadcast" to their community (which may contain co-workers) without their knowledge or permission?

    Levy, Steven (2007, December 10). Do Real Friends Share Ads? Newsweek, 30.

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Social Networking Site Review

  • Confused by the many social networking sites available?

  • Are you thinking social networking is only for those under 30?

  • Check out reviews of feature/capabilities of the leading social networking sites, and find one that fits your needs.