I’m amused this morning that Duncan wrote up my “Telstra Bans Facebook” in TechCrunch and the rash of comments accusing him of being a Facebook shill. I often tell corporate-types when they ask about why blogging is important that I may only have a few hundred regular readers of my blog but a handful of them are people with real reach – like Duncan. Google “telstra facebook” and see what happens.
Meanwhile, some people like Allen Stern still miss the point. This isn’t about Facebook. This is about businesses feeling the need to block the use of online services because they feel their employees will waste time on them and not get the job done. I know of at least one Melbourne government agency that still blocks instant messenger! Even their online team can’t use it!
Any employee who has enough functioning brain cells to use a PC and the net should have enough to work autonomously towards a set out pre-agreed results. When companies block access to internet services, rather than change their corporate culture, all they are doing is shoring up their command and control environments. This is bad – for profits, for shareholders, for employee satisfaction, for everyone.
I’m going to be talking more about this (and Telstra’s brief banning of Facebook) in my Marketing magazine article.
Prepping for my Vernor Vinge interview this afternoon by re-reading his classic novella “True Names” which he wrote in 1981 predicting the internet YEARS before Gibson or Stephenson. If you haven’t read it, you should. Here’s a sneak peak but buy yourself a hard copy as well, it’s an incredible piece of work.
I chatted with a representative from Telstra’s media department today about the Facebook issue. She said that it was a “technical problem” that prevented employees from accessing Facebook last Friday and that the error was resolved later in the day. When I asked for details about the problem, she couldn’t provide any. I asked if it was true that Telstra employees are not allowed to have Instant Messenger at work and she also said she couldn’t confirm that. When I asked what Telstra’s official position is on making Facebook and other internet services available to their employees, she said they don’t ban access to anything but all employees have to abide by their guidelines which means they can only use them as a “business tool” and as part of their job function.
Do you believe the official story?