Social Networks: Good for Business?

July 20, 2008

by Carrie-Ann Skinner, PC Advisor

Businesses are not making the most out of social networking technologies brought into the spotlight by sites such as Facebook and MySpace, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Gartner said the business potential of such sites was “largely untapped”, and the firm expects them to “become increasingly important to the competitiveness of large enterprises in the future”.

“Social networking software holds enormous potential for improving the management of large enterprises,” said Nick Ingelbrecht, research director at Gartner.

“However, work in this area is still immature and in the meantime enterprises should be aware of what is happening in the world of consumer social networking and implement appropriate usage policies for employees’ use of services such as Facebook and MySpace on company time.”

Full article at PC World Business Centre


Facebook and MySpace hit by Zero-Day Flaw

February 2, 2008

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Exploit code affecting an unpatched flaw in an image uploader used by both Facebook and MySpace is circulating publicly, putting users of the social networking sites at risk, according to security researchers.

Social networking sites have exploded in popularity in recent months and have become accepted as business tools in some quarters, leading to security concerns.

In December, WorkLight released a tool designed to allow companies to provide employees with access to Facebook while ensuring the social network is run from behind secure corporate firewalls.

Earlier in 2007 Sophos found that Facebook users are too gullible in giving up personal information, making them targets for identity theft.

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Full article available from PC World online: – http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,142109-pg,1/article.html


Microsoft to pay $240 million for a stake in FaceBook

October 26, 2007

Facebook and Microsoft Expand Strategic Alliance

Anyone who likes to keep an eye on the major players in the software world will be interested to learn that Microsoft is to pay $240 million for a 1.6 percent stage for Facebook, which would value this fledgling company at $15 billion.

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See full press release

The New York Times (Saul Hansell) [ 24 October ]:

“He’s saying that the money will let Facebook hire hundreds of engineers and buy thousands of servers. And he defines the company’s business as “social computing.” That means Facebook wants to build a serious technology company using its close relationship with users, which challenges Google. “

See full article 

The New York Times (Brad Stone) [ 25 October ]

“The Microsoft investment throws the value of the holdings of Facebook investors into the stratosphere. Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old Facebook founder who dropped out of Harvard to build the company, owns a 20 percent share which is now valued at $3 billion. Accel Partners, the venture capital firm that invested $12.7 million in May 2005 and owns 11 percent of Facebook, now holds stock worth $1.65 billion. “

See full article

What will Google make of this investment?

 


Employers ‘frightened into Facebook ban’

October 2, 2007

[Article received from HR Review]

A third of bosses in the UK are now blocking social networking sites amid fears that they reduce worker productivity and can cause security issues, according to new research.

Full article available : HR Review


Social Networking – defamation by former employees

August 22, 2007

[article just received via email from HR Review]

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“directory service 118 118 has asked social networking site Facebook to delete one of its pages, on which former employees criticise the company.

The ‘Survivors of 118 118’ page – set up by two former staff members – features an invective against both 118 118 and its customers, that has captured media attention in recent days.

118 118 spokesperson, William Ostrom, said: “They absolutely do not represent the views and the attitudes of the vast majority of our staff.

“We are now in discussion with Facebook for them to withdraw the comments on the grounds that they are defamatory to our customers.”

This is the latest in a series of events that has seen employers come into contact with social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Many employers are now rumoured to be checking on both current and potential employees via the information they post about themselves on the internet.

According to a survey of managers at 600 companies by networking website Viadeo, one in five conducted internet searches on the names of potential employees and around a quarter of these searches then lead to rejection letters because of what they found out about the candidate online.

Viadeo manager, Peter Cunningham, said: “Millions of people are inadvertently contributing to their Internet reputation every day by leaving personal information online, much of which is cached and remains available via search engines even after the author has removed the webpage.

“The rise of search engines such as Google means potential employers are never more than a few clicks away from information about you.”

He added: “People must manage their Internet reputations.

“Online information must be tailored to work to their advantage.”

[article ends]