Employers getting tough on social network use at work

facebook-logo-1In statistics which hardly surprise, given the number of problems employees have caused for themselves on Facebook and Twitter recently, employees are cracking down on the use of social networks in the workplace.

ScanSafe’s latest analysis of over a billion web sites discovered that over three-quarters of companies now block social networking sites — up 20% in the last six months.

As well as the supposed benefit in productivity from blocking non-work sites that can sap employee time (though a blanket ban may be counter-productive and a restricted hours policy might be better for morale) there’s also the reduced risk of malware creeping into a company’s systems, as well as saved bandwidth. [Read more…]

All new Ning.com connects members to other social networks within


updated_sparse1Marc Andreessen’s Ning, the patform that allows you to create easily your own social network, has unveiled a new Ning.com.

“Everyday millions of people are discovering new social networks across the Ning Platform,” said Gina Bianchini, CEO and co-founder of Ning. “The new Ning.com makes it even easier and more natural for members to see a real-time snapshot of the latest activity on their social networks on Ning as well as discover new social networks across the Ning Platform.”

The new Ning.com expects to benefit the creators of social networks on Ning with better discovery by millions of prospective members, as well as higher recurring usage by existing ones. Here’s a more detailed explanation straight from Ning’s blog.

British MPs informing but not engaging with constituents: research

Perhaps vilifying the British government’s planned recruitment of a director of digital engagement, a recent study by the Hansard Society suggests that MPs are only using the Internet to inform their constituents rather than engaging with them.

The research suggests that, while 92% of MPs use email and 83% have a personal web site, just under a quarter use any form of social networking tools, and just one in ten blog. Many of these blogging MPs don’t enable reader comments. [Read more…]

Teen launches ScotBlog social network

Scott Campbell, a 13-year-old entrepreneur, has launched a new Scottish blog-centric social network called ScotBlog.net.

Aimed at anyone living in Scotland or with Scottish ancestry, it has many of the same features found in other social networking sites such as the ability to create profiles, add friends, join groups, send private messages, and maintain a blog.

The main aim of the website is to create a safe, fun community for anybody to use, from tech savvy users to silver surfers,” says Campbell. [Read more…]

Exploring Social Media: Start With the Basics

Example of an over social business card

Exploring Social Media article series badgeIn Exploring Social Media: Social Media Tools, I featured a list of what other social media sites and experts recommend as their social media tools. Let’s take a step backwards and explore the basics you need to have in place as part of your core social media tools for bloggers and businesses as part of this ongoing series on Exploring Social Media.

While the concept of social media and social media tools confuses many, the basic social tools are ones you probably already have and use. You might not think of these as social media tools, but they are crucial to today’s communication strategies.

You probably understand why you need these, but let’s review the reasons you should have these basics in place to start your blog, online persona, business, or media campaign. [Read more…]

Valleywagger attempts to assassinate blogs; social networking and microblogging is where it’s at

Paul Boutin — “Very Special Correspondent” at Valleywag — has written what I can only assume is linkbait over at WIRED Magazine. It’s working, anyway.

While I don’t disagree with some of his opening words, I do take issue with his black-and-white stance: that blogging is dead and microblogging (or whatever Boutin might call it, given that “blogging” itself is now a dirty word) is the way forward — linked in to social networks like Facebook.

“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.”

Clearly this is only one opinion of many, but because Boutin has been granted a very public soapbox at WIRED, he’s making the most of it. Others believe that blogging is a vital part of corporate branding, while Six Apart’s leader reckons blogging will ride the economic downturn. [Read more…]

Printed Blog Magazine Set to Launch

Would you pay $40 a year for a printed magazine about blogging? Interactive Global Media hopes so as they get set to unveil Bloghology, a publication that promises advice, interviews and useful how-tos designed to entertain and educate beginners and experts.

While there are plenty of sources to stay abreast of the latest blog happening (such as this fine Web site!), print pubs are few and far between. Not only do they require a lot of work to produce, they are quite expensive to design, print and distribute.

The digital component of Bloghology is a social network that is a collection of bloggers profiles, photos and links. Look for the first edition to drop at the Blog World and New Media Expo in Las Vegas later in September.

With an initial run of 40,000 copies Bloghology will be available four times a year.

Would your drop $40 a year for a blogging magazine?

Twitter Searches, Twams, and Twogs

Twitter Twitscan

Have you searched for comments about you or your blog on Twitter? Have you ever wondered what people are saying about you?

There is a lot you can learn by searching Twitter and monitoring popular keywords and topics. For following trends, it’s invaluable.

How to Track Keywords and Search Terms in Twitter

There are a variety of ways to track what people are saying about you and other topics. Twitscoop tracks the most popular keywords on Twitter, and features a search option. It returns a summary of the latest tweets with those terms. You can click a link to get a chart displaying the frequency and timing of the search term, giving you a visual image of the rise and fall of specific terms on Twitter. [Read more…]