Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Social Fatique

While checking out the blogs of some fellow IBMers (Adrian Spender and Andy Piper) I came across this video from RTC (Irish broadcaster):

The video talks about IBMs engagement with social networking. We have Beehive (like facebook), and BlueTwit (like twitter) among other systems. Usually news reports tell us that social networking costs companies money in lost productivity. In this I will admit that IBM is at least different, we are encouraged to engage in and experiment with these things.

That said I wonder if there is another cost to these tools. Each tool that you use has an associated cognitive load. You need to remember to access each tool regularly to tend your garden so to speak. I find that keeping track of facebook and twitter is hard enough, without adding Beehive and BlueTwit. This is why I rarely log into linked in.

I have said before that I am a neo-luddite, but perhaps I am instead a web luddite. In fact I like tools, and I am kind of a early adopter at work, I signed up for Lotus Note v8 and Sametime v7.5 before it was commonly used. I am slow to adopt new web tools though. I use gmail, via my mac mail client. I didn't really use twitter until I discovered twhirl, and my sister was on facebook and myspace long before I was.

Hmm, I started out thinking about social networking overload, and I ended up thinking that all I need for these tools is for them not to be web based. Perhaps one day I'll join you all in the 21st century.


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