Can the Caged Bird Sing?

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Can the Caged Bird Sing?

In my last blog I rambled on about exposures stemming social type applications and litigation. I just read another article about how organizations should define a social media policy. In this approach, end users are trained on acceptable behavior for participation in workplace social type applications, specifically those that cross the boundaries between internal and external communications. Sort of like the ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ stage from our childhood. Although this article was specifically focusing on defamation of the character of fellow colleagues, one remark stood out which sums the whole strategy up, “A clear-cut social media policy should serve to considerably minimize the risk of industrial and public relations crises as well as litigation, by ensuring that the boundaries pertaining to online conduct are known, understood and acknowledged by each employee.”

Although I think there is a clear distinction between internal and external communications, I had never really thought about the HR problem with defamation of character type issues occurring internally. You have to wonder with the slow acceptance of enterprise social networking will we end up putting the bird in the cage effectively defeating the purpose and benefits that could be achieved?

What boundaries, training, and methods do you think should be implemented? Should there be two sets of ‘rules’ for internal governance and external?