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May 10, 2010
Generational Aspects of Social Media

As reported by the NextGov site, they had a stimulating, pertinent discussion on social media at the Cloud Computing Summit in Washington this week. A key thread is that younger workers attuned to instant messaging or e-mail need more awareness of how best to work together personally in groups, and older workers need to be patient with younger ones.

What office settings have you seen, including at PR firms, where these sorts of relational concerns occur? Bet you don't have to look far. 

"If you have an e-mail detailing a certain project, that's wonderful. But you can accomplish so much more over a cup of coffee or a telephone call," Amanada Eamich, director of new media for the Agriculture Department, is quoted on NextGov.

Older workers value face time with colleagues at the office, while younger ones expect to be able to work from anywhere, Eamich added.

There's a whole lot of tension in technology-enabled settings about "what work consists of and how you define and measure it," Dan Mintz, chief operating officer at Powertek Corp. and former chief information office at the Transportation Department indicated.

Looking outward, NextGov advises, most audience members polled at the Cloud Computing Summit said "social networking has yet to fundamentally change the way their agencies provide services to the public, but a shift will occur within the next two to three years."

We need to be mindful of how technological currents are altering working relationships, and that workplaces are people-centered and progress depends on people working well together -- thinking, planning, interacting, and achieving effectively together -- whatever their ages.   

Illustration from FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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