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Rules of Conduct on Internal Social Networks
Posted By Minda Zetlin On May 17, 2010 @ 5:27 am In Telecom and Wireless | No Comments
With an increasingly mobile workforce, and more employees working from home or other remote locations, keeping employees not only communicating, but feeling and acting like a team is an ongoing challenge. More and more companies are meeting that challenge by creating in-house social networks, using such tools as Yammer  or the NewsGator Social Sites  add-on for Microsoft Office SharePoint.
But these new internal networks come with a certain amount of uncertainty. Does letting employees post on an in-house social network mean a company risks privacy or confidentiality violations?
Probably not. “There are a lot of lawsuits over the use of external social networks, but I don’t know of any that are about internal social media,” notes Tom Bell, partner at Perkins Coie . “The risk is less. Most concerns over public social networks focus on three things: infringement of intellectual property, the posting of confidential information, and committing some sort of tort, such as defamation or libel. In all three cases, the chances of a problem are reduced when the network is limited to employees.”
Anxiety about legal implications
“I’ve worked with several firms to bring in Web 2.0 elements such as social networks, and there’s always a lot of anxiety,” notes Daniel Gasparro, CIO at the law firm Howrey . “Then when they actually put it in, employee behavior isn’t a problem.” There’s a simple explanation as to why employees might be better behaved on an internal social network: they’re likely to assume that the boss will read what they post, where they may not think this will happen on, say, Facebook.
Even though employees are more likely to be on their best behavior when using internal networks, you still need an official policy in place to govern what your users can and can’t post there. “You’ll always have a rogue employee, so you do need to have a policy, and it should be reviewed by your legal team,” notes Sharon Carleton, president of Ervin & Smith , a marketing and PR company that uses Yammer.
How can you craft an effective internal social media policy? Here are some guidelines to help you get started:
Article printed from Inc. Technology: http://technology.inc.com
URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2010/05/17/rules-of-conduct-on-internal-social-networks/
URLs in this post:
 Yammer: http://www.yammer.com
 NewsGator Social Sites: http://www.newsgator.com
 Perkins Coie: http://www.perkinscoie.com
 Howrey: http://www.howrey.com
 Ervin & Smith: http://www.ervinandsmith.com
 Levick Strategic Communications: http://www.levick.com
 Cornerstone OnDemand: http://www.cornerstoneondemand.com
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