Information professionals for public and private organizations were advised at the info360 conference in Washington last week to forget about blocking access to social websites at work. Instead, they were told, provide "a governance framework so people know what's expected. Not just what you can or cannot do, but how to use it effectively."
"It," of course, is the collection of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and a growing number of others. "We shouldn't stand in front of the steamroller," technology consultant Jesse Wilkins told his audience at the conference, prohibiting employees from accessing social websites "is just not realistic."
That word has now gone out to government IT managers everywhere via nextgov, from a capital city in which the U.S. Department of State, among other federal agencies, is promoting the use of Twitter, Ning, Facebook, YouTube, and flickr through its own Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
So PR people should be advising clients to get with social media at work, not to fight it, and many of you probably are.