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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Web 2.0 Corporate Access

I’ve been working with Steve Wexler and the eLearningGuild on the eLearning 2.0 survey. This is resulting in some pretty interesting data such as the Web 2.0 Tools Used in corporations. I also recently saw some surprising results that show that some corporations are locking down their firewall so that employees can't get to common web 2.0 sites.

One of the comments I received on Network Effects - YouTube - Video Blogs and More that had a video hosted on YouTube was:
We see and hear more and more about corporate content published on YouTube. How many companies are giving their employee's access? If there is a way to separate the good from the rest, I'd love to hear about it.
Well I can help answer the question about access to YouTube and other Web 2.0 tools.

This shows data only for corporations (excludes education and government). So, YouTube is blocked 27.7%. Wow, that's quite a bit.

Of course, factor in that 2.6% tell us that Wikipedia is blocked. So, maybe reduce all of the other numbers by that amount. Who blocks Wikipedia after all?

I somewhat understand why MySpace might get blocked (28%) but given how many people are using Facebook for business connections, blocking it at almost the same rate is a little bit of a surprise.

What somewhat surprised me is how much other sites are being blocked:
  • Twitter 11.5%
  • Digg 9.8%
But most surprising - LinkedIn being blocked by 7.9%. If I was CEO of these corporations, I'd make sure my HR/recruiting folks and my Biz Dev folks had access. Why shoot yourself in the foot? Of course, if it were me, I would absolutely open up access to LinkedIn. It's such an amazing resource to find expertise and get answers. Yes, your employees might use it to go find another job, but come on.

This also shows the discrepancy in the perspective of getting information via a resource like Wikipedia vs. getting it from other people via something like LinkedIn. Corporations have not woke up to the need for knowledge workers to reach out for expertise.

Now the second half of the question is: How can you separate good YouTube from bad YouTube content? Great question. Anyone have an answer?

Keywords: firewall, blocking, barrier.


V Yonkers said...

Granted I am in education and home of the "blocker". However, I wonder if there are some logical explanations for your finding.

My brother in law is a financial planner and must use a stand alone computer for any of his work to ensure that personal information is not compromised. They are not allowed to use linked in for this reason (even personal use...I'm not sure how they enforce it outside of the office though).

Is it possible that the "interactiveness" of wikipedia makes it possible that someone can access the information but not the editing function? There are many programs I can access as a read only, but would not be able to use interactively (i.e. non-school wikis, pageflakes, certain blogs). The other possibility is that the company does not want their workers to use wikipedia so they SAY it is blocked.

Finally, I guess I'm a glass half full kind of person. I was surprised that so many companies used youtube instead of their own sites. I would have thought they would want more control over who sees (and comments) on their videos.

Anonymous said...

I think a combination factors had led companies to block sites like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Here's what I have personally witnessed.

One of the most common is probably the "one bad apple spoils the bunch" issue. In my company, I have seen instances in which the gross Internet misconduct of one or two employees scares company leadership and leads to a lockdown of access. And unfortunately, our litigious society had led us to not discipline the handful of people who break the rules, but to instead devise ways to try to control everyone. Think of it as "guilty until proven innocent."

Another issue could be bandwidth. Some companies only have so much to go around so they have to keep their network as free as possible so propietary applications can run efficiently. Sites like YouTube could be dangerous to an already maxed network.

And my final observation is that Internet is not seen as a necessary business tool in most companies yet. Internet presence? Yes. Employee business use? Not so much. Many see the Internet as a recreational tool and leadership doesn't realize the full potentional. Take Facebook for example. How do you convince a C-Level exec that Facebook can be a valueable business tool when he/she is constantly trying to keep their teenager off of it so they will do their homework?

I think many companies are coming around, but these are examples I know of that many of my collegues and I in various companies are witnessing. They say we are in the Internet age, but in many ways, I personally don't think we are quite there least not in business.

Unknown said...

Tony, do you have an update on this data? Oddly enough, I'm having trouble finding up-to-date information on social media blocking statistics.