Gartner analysts Anthony Bradley and Nikos Drakos have come out with a report identifying the benefits of social media, on the heals of announcements from several banks that they are banning the use of tools like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The analysts say the collaborative possibilities of the sites increase productivity so much that it overwhelms what might be seen as wasting time at work.
I know I've been late to the party when it came to adopting these tools. I've had a MySpace page simply to maintain a connection with my kids and their circle of friends (Hey, Jon's Dad is cool, he has a Myspace), and reluctantly joined FaceBook (I wrote in the status several months ago that I was wondering what value it had).
Since then, I've been able to use it to make business connections outside of the EDA and Fabless areas my business has focused on for years. I've been able to share ideas quickly and easily with colleagues, find old friends and sharpen my view of new media. Twitter has helped me focus my thoughts better. The blog helps organize those thoughts and expand my presence in the market.
Yes there are time-wasting applications, but computer solitaire was sited as a reason to not get desktop computers for employees 10 years ago. Look where we are today.
Social media is a tool that can be used extremely well by competent communicators, or an energy sucker when used by people with no purpose. It is what you make of it. As the corporate world continues to kill the traditional communications mediums by its lack of understanding, it better get on board with the new medium or it will find itself walled in with no way to the market.