Irony is…a social network

//farm1.static.flickr.com/232/484051145_94ef1a9d57.jpg?v=0” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.There’s a perverse irony about the Ontario provincial government cutting off their employees’ access to Facebook, one of Ontario’s most popular social networks, and a major communications channel to its (their?) constituents.

If the medium is, in fact, the message, what message does this send to Ontarians? Facebook is a great communications vehicle for individuals, businesses and, indeed, government.

Policy analysts can use the ‘book to test the reaction to legislation, politicians can (and have) use it to drive voter engagement while beaurocrats can catch any groundswell of opinion that may need legislation in the future.

Sure it can be frivollous and down right addictive, but hey – so are the rest of the Internet, email, IM and even the phone.

And anyway, Facebook must be good – Sean and Amber say so.

Image courtesy of Flickr user bn37ej.

5 Responses to Irony is…a social network

  1. michaelallison says:

    It’s not blocked on our computers where I work, but I think I’d get in trouble if I was Facebooking instead of working.

    It seems the Ontario government’s reason is productivity and bandwidth related.

    I’m interested in the liability issue. People make unwise choices sometimes, and pictures of a drunk ministerial assistant doesn’t always make the right impression. With that said, using the internet on personal time–for anyone–requires good judgment.

    I think we’ll see similar developments soon in BC regarding Facebook.

  2. Mark Evans says:

    Ed,
    You can’t expect government to be on the leading edge of the social networking revolution, can you? The Ontario government is still working on putting together Web sites that serve their constituents properly, which is very Web 1.0!

    Mark

  3. alaindesmier says:

    The story from Canada is especially more interesting when you consider how much FB is being used by Political Parties in the UK.

    Party supporters recently used face book profiles pictures to declare who they were voting for in the local elections, politicians are using facebook to organize campaign events and most significantly the Labor Deputy Leadership candidates are spending a huge amount of time promoting their various campaigns.

    It does seem that Ontarians are missing a trick…

  4. […] more and more organizations, including the Ontario Provincial Government, are lumping social networking Web sites together with serial time wasters, productivity drainers […]

  5. […] written before about the irony of banning social media at work and how the use of social media, far from being a bane on productivity, may actually enhance […]

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