Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ellen Gerstein on Social Networking at Work

Hurray for Ellen, a marketing manager at Wiley, for her stance on allowing employees to access social networking sites at work. She says it's beneficial for the company and helps broaden people's knowledge of what their customers are thinking and doing. She cites a fellow Wiley manager in the UK, who encourages her employees to spend an hour a day surfing the Web, picking up new ideas and connecting with customers in new ways.

There are plenty of Luddites out there who think that time on the Internet is wasted time. I will allow that it's easy to get off track, and those who blog and tweet about personal things while on the clock should probably not. But how are we going to understand our customers if we don't meet them where they are: online?

Here are just a few ways that using the Internet at work makes me a better editor/product manager:
  • Fact-checking: If an author uses a dubious-looking spelling of a brand name, I can go right to the source and verify it.
  • Continuing education: I have learned more about publishing technology and business from publishing blogs than I have ever learned at my own company. How amazing is it that people are willing to give free advice on what works for them and what doesn't?
  • Author search and credential-checking: When I'm proactively trolling for new authors, I can use blogs and LinkedIn to get leads. And if I'm reviewing a proposal, I can evaluate an author's profile by googling them.
  • Polling: If I have a particularly thorny question, I can poll my network and get advice and opinions.

What ways do you use the Internet and social networking to improve your job performance?

1 comment:

Ellen Gerstein said...

Thanks Lori! I'm working on another blog post about who should do what in social networking at work (hint - it's really what you're good at and what you want to do).