Here follows extracts from two email that recently crossed my desk on the topic of social media—I repeat here as the issue is pertinent to mining. The exchange began with an email that said the following:
My name is Kayla. I am part of a team of designers/researchers that made an infographic about how social media is destroying productivity. If you’re at all interested, you can check it out here:
Title: How Social Media is Destroying Productivity
If you like it and think it’s a fit, I would love for you to share it.
The reply was, I thought, more insightful. Here is what it said:
Thanks for your email and for the link to the infographic. While you have some impressive numbers and unquestionably social media can be a huge distraction, I think there are some powerful positive aspects of social media implementation in the corporate and education world that have been completely overlooked. Sharing the scale of adoption is only part of the picture – I think it is important to look at the content that is being viewed, shared and discussed on these platforms in order to properly determine their role in the work place.
Here are some sites/articles you may want to explore to see how companies/organizations have harnessed the power of social media platforms to facilitate productivity:
- BASF has a well-used in house social media platform to help teams with productivity (http://www.slideshare.net/basf/basf-social-media-2011) …also search for presentations to hear them speak about the power of the platform.
- IBM’s “email-less” man: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/01/luis-suarez/
- The University of British Columbia (local university in Vancouver) has launched a service for students, teachers and departments to run blogs using the wordpress platform. They power hundreds educational blogs that allow students to interact with one another and with the instructors during and after classes. (http://blogs.ubc.ca/)
- http://yourquestions.mcdonalds.ca/ - a bit different but an interesting way for McDonalds to engage with people about questions they have – and likely will drive choices at the corporate level once all the numbers are analyzed in terms of needs of current or potential clients.
… and this is just a start.
Social media platforms go far beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, although these are viewed as the most popular. Increasingly, corporations are looking strategically at these platforms and determining how they can be used, what policies apply and what role(s) they can plan internally and externally.
Finally, humans are social beings. Social media platforms enable networks, information sharing and engagement on popular and important issues. The idea of “productivity” in the work place can be misleading as someone may be able to tap into a network that is seen as “social” but may be able to access and interact with an expert around an important question and save time for the company in the long term - I am not sure that the infographic covers the content question well enough to determine whether or not these platforms are adding to productive workplaces.
I hope this perspective is useful.
And I hope this perspective is useful to you in considering the use of social media in your mining operations.