New technologies, especially those that arrive in the enterprise space from the consumer space, eventually reach some point where corporate managers feel the need to establish policies that serve enterprise business requirements.
In the latest example, ESPN has issued 12 guidelines to its employees about social networking.
The guidelines say that on-air talent, reporters and writers are prohibited from having sports-related blogs or Web sites and that they will need a supervisor’s approval to discuss sports on any social networking sites.
They will also be restricted from discussing internal policies or detailing how stories are “reported, written, edited or produced.”
“The first and only priority is to serve ESPN-sanctioned efforts, including sports news, information and content,” the new rules say.
Violating the new guidelines could lead to suspension or dismissal.
Similar struggles occurred when mobiles started appearing in the workplace, when email started being used and when Web access moved into the workplace as well. In many cases, employees tried blanket prohibitions, before gradually figuring out how to protect business information and interests while still allowing employees to use the new tools.
The same will happen with social networking tools.