The Whole Enchilada

Thoughts on life, work, tech & biz and the whole enchilada

Which Site Was Voted Most Likely to Be Blocked at Work?

Posted by wholeenchilada on November 12, 2007

It’s not a terrorist or political site, nor is it porn, gambling or evil ebay. Apparently MySpace has gotten so much attention that employers are scrambling:

The New York Times reports that a study by security firm Barracuda Networks, which polled 2,400 of its customers, has found that more than half block access to social networking sites from employees on their work networks. Interestingly, though, MySpace was blocked far more often than Facebook.

43.9% of companies block access to MySpace, while just 25.6% of companies block access to Facebook. Just 6.3% of companies blocked only Facebook while allowing access to MySpace. Why is that? A snap analysis might lead one to think that companies are just more comfortable with the more orderly nature of Facebook — and the fact that it is being used for legitimate business networking by some folks (myself included) — whereas, the vanity-focused MySpace has no work value. But that’s not what’s going on here, according to Barracuda.

Read more here: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/myspace_facebook_blocked_at_work.php

I know some folks feel that social networking sites are useful enough for business that they shouldn’t be blocked. I’m not on MySpace but I don’t find myself spending hours a day fiddling with LinkedIn or Plaxo. Then again, they aren’t the the same as MySpace so that’s not a fair comparison. To me, as a manager, it comes down to trust. If you have to block one site because of potential abuse, there has to be 10 more (billion) sites that employees will switch to “wasting” time at. You might have employees that are casual browsers – some check bank balances, update profiles, do light surfing and respond to a few personal emails during their work day – and this might be ok (depends on corporate policy, of course), but if you have folks spending hours on MySpace and it gets blocked, whats to stop them from switching to another site? Either block one or all — slackers can waste time doing just about anything. Myspace doesn’t waste time – People waste time! Then again I don’t have to write corporate internet usage policies – ickie!!

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