Your Information: How much is too much?

In today’s world, our ‘social’ world, which is dominated by uninterrupted stream of status updates, photos, videos, blogs etc, how do you ensure that the information is not crossing the line? The line,which may or may not be visible to many, but is of utmost importance for an organization.

A survey for Intel Corporation on mobile etiquette and digital sharing showed that 90 percent of Americans think too much is being divulged, and nearly half feel overwhelmed by all the all the data that is out there.

One in five of the 2,008 people questioned by Ipsos Observer for Intel admitted that some of what they post is false. SourceTweet It’

How much information #SocialGlamor Khalid Raza

This may be true on a personal network like Facebook or Myspace (do people still use it?) however in an organization, the leak of information is a real threat when every employee has free access to the collaboration tool.

In IBM, every employee has access to Connections (tool for networking and much more) where profiles are made the moment someone joins the organization. IBM ensures, all employees are aware of Social Computing Guidelines, which are not rules. In the spring of 2005, IBMers used a wiki to create a set of guidelines for all IBMers who wanted to blog. These guidelines aimed to provide helpful, practical advice to protect both IBM bloggers and IBM. In 2008 and again in 2010 IBM turned to employees to re-examine our guidelines in light of ever-evolving technologies and online social tools to ensure they remain current to the needs of employees and the company. These efforts have broadened the scope of the existing guidelines to include all forms of social computing.

Many clients and organizations have expressed an interest in learning more about IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines and how we communicate them to employees. Here’s a short video example of one of the ways IBM’s online community educates itself about these guidelines.

Intel’s Social Computing guidelines are more condensed tracks as opposed to IBM and focus on 3 Rules of Engagement – Disclose, Protect and Use Common sense. Wherein CapGemini’s Social Media Guidelines tangent on ‘Think before you post’ outlook.

But one facet is common in all guidelines – the onus is on the individual – the one who is writing, creating content, sharing knowledge – the user. Which is interesting, especially, if we compare this with Code of Conducts of any organization. Generally CoC very clearly define what’s right and what’s wrong.

Why is this?

Social information sharing invests a lot more power in the hands of the user and entrusts the responsibility to be very sure before posting anything. Is this because it is difficult to control or is it because controlling it will defeat the very purpose?

Would you want a set of rules or guidelines when next time you go to Facebook, Twitter or Connections or any other community online to share?

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