Stay networked. Get informed. Broadcast your projects.
I enjoy the way things manage to line themselves up beside one another. I expect this comes from my other life as a teacher of literature. From EM Forster's novel Howards End perhaps and the ideas of one of his characters : "Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. … Live in fragments no longer. Only connect...."
Checking to get the quotation correct I found this article “ “Only Connect"--E. M. Forster In An Age Of Electronic Communication: Computer-Mediated Association And Community Networks” http://web.mit.edu/gtmarx/www/connect.html which some of you may find interesting in spite of the fact that it was probably written between 15 and 20 years ago. Ur-Facebook perhaps.
As well as thinking about Forster and policy I also have an uncomfortable place in my conscience because I had almost promised Ginger to write a blog post about the second CARIBnog (Caribbean Network Operators’ Group) meeting that was held here in September, and I haven’t done it yet.
So perhaps I can “only connect” and bring all of these things together. One afternoon at the CARIBnog meeting Facebook was the hot topic, not because of privacy issues or the open/closed debate but because of the amount of bandwidth it uses. The network operators who managed “work” networks, government and private sector, were concerned about the drain on their limited bandwidth, and there was a long debate about what could be done. Some of them advocated blocking Facebook (and YouTube and various other sites). Others said that of course some employees needed to use the sites legitimately in the course of their jobs. Others suggested bandwidth rationing, or blocking but with a “window” during the lunch period. Others again suggested that appropriate task setting and supervision should solve the problem before it had a chance to affect bandwidth. People exchanged ideas but there was no real resolution to the problem.
So I’m putting it to you, and I’ll share it with the policy group as well – make your suggestions for an effective policy to manage Facebook in a work environment. If you think no policy is required tell us why.
Oh, and while Howards End might not be everybody’s cup of tea, anyone using computers and the Internet should make it their business to read a short story The Machine Stops written by Forster in 1909 and available at http://plexus.org/forster/