From Watermelon to Peach - the workplace for a digital age


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From Watermelon to Peach - the workplace for a digital age

  1. 1. From Watermelon to Peach –the workplace in a digital age Maz Hardey Geek Chic the University of York October 2007
  2. 2. In the beginning…
  3. 3. Post-graduate Youth Culture •  iGeneration •  Technology immersed •  Early adopters •  Sphere of consumption and production •  Convergence of on/ offline life •  Flows of information •  ‘Of the moment’ interaction
  4. 4. Reachability •  New pattern of communication ‘presence’ •  Re-drawing of social boundaries Interval/ Mail Newspaper Lengthy email blog Phone SNS Immediate/ text Concise IM One-on-one/ Reach/ Dialogue Broadcast
  5. 5. Commitment to SNS •  Naturalisation of ties •  Inner disposition to sustain connections •  ‘Faithfulness’ stabilises relationships •  Communication takes place multitude of pauses, silences, actions; presence and absence •  Ultimately social ties = basic units of SNS
  6. 6. Characteristics of SNS •  Profile •  Pictures •  Privacy settings •  The Wall •  Finding/making friends •  Groups •  Events •  Status •  News and mini feeds •  Notes and shares •  Mobile •  ..and then the poke
  7. 7. Reasons for SNS popularity Facebook •  Uniform design •  Privacy settings •  Tagging •  Posted items and notes •  Imports •  Photo and video shares •  Non-invasive ads
  8. 8. Expectations for work culture •  Co-operation •  Integration •  Community language •  ‘Informal’ formal •  Non-hierarchal ‘top-down’ structures •  Collaborative
  9. 9. iGen workers: Already ready •  New sets of ‘transferable skills’ •  Multitude of interfaces and devices •  Information savvy - cult of the information ‘expert’ •  Critical thinkers
  10. 10. SNS’s: Friend, Fad or Foe? •  Loss of productivity •  Bandwidth and system crashes •  Security •  Leisure pursuit on company time •  ‘It’s just a fad’
  11. 11. Bad press • Half of businesses restrict employee access (August 2007) •  Paul Broome CTO at, BANNED Facebook - add-on applications were taking 40 per cent of the company's available internet connection
  12. 12. SNS BANNED; too hasty? •  Media scare-mongering •  Educating the corporate sector - how best support SNS •  New guidelines and company etiquette •  Corporate strategy for presence on SNS •  Companies that support SNS IBM, Deloitte PricewaterhouseCoopers, SKYPE
  13. 13. Networking or not working? •  Flexibility •  Establish patterns of expected behaviour and guideline codes •  Re-structuring of working life •  Not necessarily ‘top-down’ approach
  14. 14. Examples from industry IBM •  Computer programmers cite a ‘creative’ and ‘engaging’ environment •  Convergence of work and digital spaces •  Value added to corporate activities •  Part of co-networking ‘Being able to reach out to the right person for expertise and knowledge - this is one of the primary values of any knowledge-based worker’ Ross Dawson IT commentator 2007
  15. 15. The new tools for work Need a more balanced approach, rather than media scare-mongering and negative knee- jerk reaction. ‘I don’t wait for my RSS feeds to bring me the news, Facebook is my first port of call for update to the minute and valuable information’ Ian Forreseter BBC
  16. 16. New kind of work community •  SNS can provide contextual backdrop to work ‘place’ •  ‘Community feel’ •  New corporate ‘friendlier’ identity •  Opening up of new interfaces and working culture •  E.g. email now recognised as key to companies. Castell’s - Network Society, information flows and social capital
  17. 17. Not just about places Old: Place - on/offline New: SpaceS - always on Mobility - networks available everywhere and at any time
  18. 18. The physical work environment SKYPE an example
  19. 19. OMG get out. Makes me want This looks better to work! than my apartment! Exactly how an Wow a friendly office should be! AND professional environment and they encourage web surfing too! Everyone should have a work space as cool as this!
  20. 20. Reasons you should be watching SNS •  FB recent deal with Jobster - source for employees •  Help understand potential customer base •  Recognise potential medium for product and company promotion •  Identify new shifts and trends in consumer behaviour •  Encourage innovation
  21. 21. Future projects •  Corporate SN resource that can be melded with already established SNS •  Foster networking links, new clients, customers, employees •  Map where people are in companies •  Tie into IM, SKYPE - create creative collaborative work between people who may not be in same dept or building
  22. 22. Some challenges •  Security SN material only on company intranet and not accessible to individuals outside the company. Facilator of new projects •  Compulsory for all? Need to introduce SN to everyone in company - training •  View SN as part of working environment •  Reject temptations to surveil employees •  Allow interactions to be ‘playful’
  23. 23. Opportunities •  Promotes sense of belonging - community •  Facilitates networking at all levels •  Rewards ‘collective intelligence’ •  Fosters creativity •  Promote cross- organisation relationships
  24. 24. From watermelon to the peach •  ‘Always on’ employees •  Mobilities •  Facilitator •  New way of promoting new connections and maintaining existing relations •  Essential to innovation and productivity •  Ultimate user-based tool •  Workers more equal than ever before
  25. 25. Website: http://mazphd.googlepages Blogs: A Proper Facebook Etiquette Web 2.0 Media Talk GirlyGeekdom Assignment Zero News