Archive for August, 2011

Legal Risks of Social Media – Cisco

In my last blog post I discussed the benefits and risks of implementing Enterprise 2.0 into the business realm. While this is all well and good, we did not touch on the legal risk and implications to the company in regards to the use of Web 2.0 tools.  Grasping the legal implications that Enterprise 2.0 can have on your organisation can be slightly confusing. Businesses have found a new place to present themselves through social media sites. Having a channel available to communicate with customers in a non-formal way creates connection and awareness, though can leave a company vulnerable to their own Enterprise 2.0 success.

Social Media Policy (SMP)

According to Dundas Lawyers: “A Social Media Policy (SMP) is a document that suppliments a contract of employment to be legally enforceable by an organisation on its employees. The aim of an SMP is to clearly communicate what is acceptable conduct on Social Networking Sites by an organisations employees and contractors and what conduct is unacceptable and would make an employee liable to dismissal. An SMP is distinct from an organisations Social Media Strategy (SMS) which is a high level document that communicates how an organisation plans to participate in social media.”

social media policy is a must have legal document for any company. An SMP may protect or attempt to address the company both internally and externally for the below:

  • Copyright breaches
  • Privacy breaches
  • Defamation
  • Conduct of employees that an employer may be vicariously liable for
  • Discrimination claims
  • Trademark
  • Confidentiality breaches

Organisation Case Study: Cisco

Cisco is a global corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice, and communications technology and services.

In this following case study we will analyse and discus policies that they have set in place.

Cisco can be found on many social networks, including Twitter and Facebook; and are no strangers to implementing Web2.0 tools for internal use.  While this creates new openings for collaboration and communication, it creates new responsibilities for Cisco employees. Being a big company embedded into social networking, there are lots of legal concerns that Cisco has to consider.

Confidential information and breach of continuous disclosure obligations

In Cisco’s SMP it is made very clear the legal implications and internal dealings if any unauthorized information is posted. “Your Internet postings should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or to any third party that has disclosed information to Cisco.” Posting any confidential materials may impact the company in a negative way and may effect business competition. Releasing of internal documents is threatened with contract termination and the pursuit of legal advice.

Copyrighted Infringements

Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogs enable users the ability to upload content such as music, videos, text files. This leaves employees venerable to uploading copyright material to these websites, which can be a major legal risk with daft implications to both the company and the individual.

Cisco in their SMP state: “Because you are legally responsible for your postings, you may be subject to liability if your posts are found defamatory, harassing, or in violation of any other applicable law. You may also be liable if you make postings, which include confidential or copyrighted information (music, videos, text, etc.) belonging to third parties. All of the above mentioned postings are prohibited under this policy.”

Conclusion

While it is always difficult to avoid a social media disaster from happening, implementing a social media policy is the best way to inform your employees about the risks that is involved and having a preventative option in place.

Cisco have made their social media policy available for public viewing and ironically it has been published on their public blog.

*Note*The materials and information provided in this blog itself are general commentary on the law only.  It is not legal advice

References

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/ciscos_internet_postings_policy/ http://blogs.cisco.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cisco_Systems
http://socialmediatoday.com/davefleet/151761/57-social-media-policy-examples-and-resources
http://www.onlinesocialmedia.net/20110817/playstation-vita-expanding-experience-apps-for-social-networking/
http://www.dundaslawyers.com.au/index.php/legal-services/technology-law/social-media-law/
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Benefits and Risks of Enterprise 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 is rapidly growing, many workplaces are now discovering that social media tools such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are great for advertising their brand and communicating with customers as well as for company related collaboration and communication. Major organisations such as Microsoft, IBM and Novell and other large corporations, through to even the United States Government are also introducing Enterprise 2.0 tools into the realm of business. By taking a closer look at the increasing adoption of Enterprise 2.0 we will look further into the benefits and risks of how these tools can have an impact.

Benefits

Productivity & Wisdom of the Masses and Collaboration

Through the use of Web 2.0 tools it leads to easier collaboration and better team effectiveness it can also improve team performance and enhanced trust building, accelerated interaction. Traditionally most work was conducted through email which can sometimes be one sided. Novell has taken to the use of wiki’s as a standard means to facilitate collaboration, documents, articles and idea sharing. This beats the traditional method of email and opens up the so-called “wisdom of the masses” and allows for greater productivity and information sharing.

With Web 2.0 organisations and companies open a platform for their customers to provide feedback through uses of twitter, blogs and facebook. This can prove important with customer relations and opens a path for the company to take on board any creative criticism or other general feedback from their clients.

Risks

Having a ‘Social Media Policy’ in place can reduce the risks that are mentioned below, but are not limited to.

Information/Company Security

This is undoubtedly is the biggest issue within implementing Enterprise 2.0. The major concern is how to use these tools without the risk of an employee purposely or accidently releasing sensitive information about in-house company information. If you allow people to upload/download files to these systems, how will you prevent malicious files from entering your network? While sharing content and information is a great idea, you still have to protect your company, an open system such Facebook or wikis this makes it a challenge to maintain security.

Reputation & Reliability

Introducing Enterprise 2.0 tools into a business, employees now leave the company exposed to unforeseen comments or posts that may tarnish the company’s image. For example, Staff may make negative comments about their company or their clients on public Web 2.0 sites or post up information that is unreliable and incorrectly used or provide unclear or misleading instructions.

A case study produced by Symantec has shown that “The typical enterprise experienced nine social media incidents, such as employees posting confidential information publicly over the past year, with 94 percent suffering negative consequences including damage to their reputations, loss of customer trust, data loss and lost revenue.“

Examples of successful implementation:

McDonalds – A real time blog and feedback awareness platform available once a week for employees

Novell – Uses wikis in a variety of ways across their enterprise for projects, events, logistics and conversation.

Telstra’s 3 Rs of Social Media Engagement – An example of a Social Media Policy; Used by Telstra.

References:

https://wiki.aalto.fi/display/Glostra/Enterprise+2.0+-+Benefits
http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20110721_01&om_ext_cid=biz_socmed_twitter_facebook_marketwire_linkedin_2011July_worldwide_socialmediaflashpoll
http://www.tagmantic.com/sites/portals-and-km-making-wikis-work-at-novell/378899
http://mashable.com/2009/06/02/social-media-policy-musts/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_social_software

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Productivity with Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0?

The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate blogging, social networking/media, forums, wikis, video sharing, webcams, and file sharing, etc. It is built for the user to generate that content in a community framework.

Most people accosciate the term ‘Web 2.0’ with Facebook, blogs and twitter and consider them time-wasters, while this can be true there are a number of ‘web 2.0’ tools that exists that can help the end user maintain a level of productivity.

How can Web 2.0 Boost Productivity?

Over the duration of my academic years I have come across and tested my fair share of Web 2.0 tools in hopes that they will increase productivity levels. I will give some examples of them, and the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ it has helped me in my quest to achieve an efficiency in my work and in term hopefully help yours.

 Social Networks

Social media can take up a lot of time.  But there are tools and techniques that can help you be more productive in your social media activities. For example, setting goals. Using social networks such as blogs, twitter and even Facebook as a place to publicly broadcast your ‘to do list’ or goals is a great method of motivation. Posting my goals on Facebook has helped me boost my productivity levels in a way due to that friends will encourage or ‘Like’ your posts. I tend to find myself reading others wall post on Facebook to see how much study or work they have done and it builds up a form of ‘competition’ in a sense to get motivated.

The use of blogs and other information sharing social networks such as wikis have built a path into a coined term known as ‘E-learning‘. E-Learning is a great resource as most information is posted online, and through the use of collaborative Web 2.0 tools learning becomes more enjoyable and efficient thus improving personal productivity.

DropBox

Dropbox

I have used  Dropbox since beginning my university degree in 2010. Dropbox is a great web 2.0 application that stores files online and syncs all your files between all devices with Dropbox installed. Dropbox is multi-platform thus meaning it is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Applications have also been developed for mobile devices such as iOS and Android phones. Dropbox offers great group and team sharing features and uses 256-bit AES encryption, it also includes deleted file recovery  and version control for up-to 30days as well as an event log.

A shared Dropbox folder can be created, this is a very useful feature when doing group work as the whole group have access to files which they too can read, write and edit. This can greatly improve productivity within group work, this is primarily due to that collaboration is now easily performed and files can be kept and backed up in one place and shared with ease.

Other Great Web 2.0 tools to check out

For further information on the uses of Web 2.0 to increase productivity. As a Enterprise 2.0 consultant I would recommend checking out the below link to watch a short video on how to incorporate some web 2.0 technologies into the business spectrum.

Wikis and Sharepoint (Business Productivity)

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Top Blog!

The term ‘blog‘ has been thrown around for a number of years now, but what exactly is blogging? Well ironically this is a blog and i am blogging (or the blogger). The purpose of this post is to show effective strategies on how to blog, make it successful and more importantly why do it in the first place.

So Why Blog it? 

There are a number of reasons why people choose to blog, for the most part it is usually a means of expression for the ‘average joe’, a way to show self-expression and to build a reputation as well as providing personal insight into any areas of knowledge e.g. “Technology, Movies, Cars etc.”

Blog came from the term ‘web log‘, blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

To me, this blog is a way to share personal insight, experience and knowledge obtained throughout the duration of my academic years, and mostly about Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0 and areas in Information Technology

My Blogging Strategy

  • Have a topic or theme to write about
  • Research
  • Write the Blog
  • Maintaining the blog
  • Promote the blog

Creating a Successful Blog

Most new bloggers think that blogging is easy. It is, well the concept is, though what most people fail to grasp is, Blogging:

  • it takes time to build an online presence and
  • it takes time to research and/or come up with new ideas or concepts and learnt processes
  • it takes time and effort to produce quality posts

 Content!

This is the most important factor in creating a successful blog. You have to provide engaging, interesting and relevant content to your readers for them to want to read your blog and come back for more. Posting regularly is a great way to keep the reader engaged and to broaden your audience, though updating it too much may discourage readers and may become annoying.

Increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking

If your blog does not incorporate any SEO, you will not be found online through web searches. The many hours of work that was put in will have gone to waste. Here are free great ways to get you started in setting SEO for your blog.

Promote Yourself

There are plenty of ways to promote your blog, friends and family are always a good start. But to broaden your audience the best bet is by using  TwitterFacebook and RSS. Also by reading other peoples blog and leaving comments, more often then not the blogger will vist your blog and hopefully link with you or in return leave a good comment as well.

Job opportunity/Personal Branding

Anyone could read what you write about on your blog. They could be potential clients or your future employer. A blog represents who you are, your interests and likes as well as what you can do. So choose your topics carefully, have a purpose and write your content carefully.

Some example blogs

Here are some recommendations of some great blogs, these are more of the professional standard and are business owned tech website

Neowin: is a technology blog website that focuses on Mac, Windows, Linux and other industry based headlines. Neowin runs under the slogan, “Where unprofessional journalism looks better.”

Engadget: is another technology blog website that more or less focusses on all aspects of the technology industry, this website has numerous bloggers and the information is usually breaking and up-to-date.

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Introductory Introduction!?

I am currently undertaking an undergraduate degree in Information Technology at the Queensland University of Technology, with a major in Networking.

Initially I was sceptical of posting up a blog, though sometimes its good to explore new things.

Enterprise 2.0 may seem out of the realm of my major in Networking though i chose this unit as a way to broaden my area of study and hopefully learn new concepts and themes.

By undertaking Enterprise 2.0 this semester i hope to gain more knowledge in this field and the use of online communal technology in building and maintaining information using social networking tools that  will hopefully be of use in the near future.

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