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Removed from isolation

In reflecting about the assigned readings this week, I find myself intrigued yet a little scared. Up until I had enrolled in this class I have gotten by with basic use of the internet and email. I almost feel in a sense that I have been isolated all of this time. It seems as though I am being introduced to a whole new world.

I think that is was mostly the fear of not knowing enough about it to try it. Part of me feared that if I were to post a MySpace or Facebook account I would be giving out information to complete strangers. I was unaware that you can protect your privacy. I was also unaware of the networking possibilties. It is such a great way to meet people and develop relationships.

I can see that this trend of social networking is going to become essential in the workplace. These tools are not only being used for personal reasons anymore. Whether the people you work with are sitting in the neighboring cubicles or in a country around the world, you need to coordinate and collaborate (Connect!, pg. 154). Virtual teamwork has made the workflow so much more efficient. While the telephone still does hold a purpose, not everyone has time to talk during the day. This comes in particularly handy when working with people in different time zones.

What I find interesting is that while I have often spent an afternoon at work waiting for an important response to an email, when in fact there are alternatives that are more efficient and allow you to be able to multi-task. With the use of instant messaging it allows an immediacy that doesn't always work with email. It also allows a more fluid conversation. Until reading about this in Connect! I have just associated instant messaging to that of my younger cousin who communicates this way with her classmates. I now see how it could be very useful in a work setting. Finding a time to schedule a meeting can be close to impossible. With the use of status updaters, tools like Twitter allows you to provide status updates of what you have accomplished. This makes it very beneficial in team projects in which your status affects their progress.

In regards to the reading in Wikinomics it has become clear that businesses now days must "open up your platforms to increase the speed, scope, and success of innovation." (Wikinomics, 185). Companies like eBay, Google, and Amazon have had extraordinary success by doing so. Being able to obtain external ideas these open platforms have been able to innovate much faster than solely relying on the limited amount of internal resources.

I have learned a lot of information this week and in a sense feel less isolated. Implementing this new technology into my life is going to take some work, but I feel the benefits will be limitless.

Comments

To an extent, I know your hesitation toward exploring the world of facebook. Until this course, I steered clear of those sites because of the "insecurity" factor. I dont like the idea of my real name being "out there" for anyone to see or, heaven forbid, steal. As it is, I monitor all of my links carefully, but I think it is good to finally get exposure to the wide world of social networking. Whether your just starting out, or an already established tech person, it's good to get new experiences. So into the great abyss we all go!

Your first couple paragraphs are dead on. Email and the internet, no problem, but when I thought about Facebook or some other site like that, I thought teenagers, college students, not me. I had no idea there was any security to who sees your profile.

As for using social networking in a work environment, I believe there is a place for it, but there might be barriers depending on who you work for: Your company has to be willing to trust you with it...seems like a lot of them don't. Might be a "size of the company" thing. Big = no way. Your co-workers can't be a bunch of change resistant pre-retireesGovt contractual obligations may forbid it because it is seen as a security leak.

Gee, do you think I work for a large company with an aging workforce that has gov't contracts?

Hello Tracy, isn't that feeling great?! The feeling of a whole new world . . . and I'm not talking about Disney's Aladdin! :) Seriously though, it's a good feeling. With the whole privacy thing, I'm glad that Facebook gives us the controls to choose what we would like to disclose or not. The people make up the network, and there's people who want privacy, so if Facebook did not allow us to choose our privacy settings, they would have a lot of people not signing up. Thanks Facebook! . . . and thanks to you Tracy for opening up and entering into this whole new world that we call the world wide web! The quote from Wikinomics that you mentioned in your posting--that businesses now days must "open up your platforms to increase the speed, scope, and success of innovation." (Wikinomics, 185). I agree that is super important. Innovation is a key word. During a class I took last summer, the professor talked about Innovation and how that is so important in this economy. He mentioned that we have to live in an innovative society to compete in the global marketplace. With innovation, new products/services/ideas are formed to make this economy more efficient and effective. I am all about that! Technology helps with Innovation, thus helping the economy become more efficient.