Friday, November 2, 2007

Businesses crawling all over YouTube, Facebook

Guess who is taking a peek at your profile and activities on Facebook, Linkedin, and other social networking sites ? Businesses of course, and they are looking for you.

Social networking sites have become the top tool for hiring IT staff, according to this report in PC World.

So folks try and be careful on Facebook. Forget about being spontaneous on social networking sites, because a single loose comment could make you lose a super job offer.

There aren’t any private spaces online where you can have good, clean spontaneous fun. The corporate world has got its men on these sites. Some of them maybe reporting to your bosses

Some companies are also encouraging their staff to get on to Facebook and generally try to have fun. They believe that this interaction will strengthen bonds among company employees, provide an opportunity to recruit more people, and yes, project a super nice image of the company.

The corporate barbarians are at this gate too. When blogs became popular, and were positioned as expression that was truly spontaneous and not choreographed, companies too piggybacked on the new phenomenon.

If you thought the blogs by corporate executives would provide deep and new insights into their inner feelings, true beliefs, you were in for a big disappointment. It is corporate speak all over again, only a little more casual than a press release, and thoroughly sanitized by the company’s public relations departments.

Competitors have also started using their blogs to take shots at one another - generally the kind of stuff newspapers wouldn’t publish or you couldn’t issue a press release about.

Apart from blogs from corporate executives, which are incidentally closely harvested for news by the media, there are also blogs by folks set up corporate and other interests to defend those interests, discreetly spark of rumors etc etc.

Companies have made a beeline to video sharing sites. If it wasn’t bad enough filtering through third-rate sexy videos, bad jokes, and generally amateurish content, to get to any real nuggets on the video-sharing site, now adding to the clutter are companies who have recognized that YouTube and other sharing and networking sites are a great, and free advertising medium.

So you have video clips of Shaun White endorsing Hewlett-Packard’s Paviliion laptops, or a promotion video by Indian outsourcer, Infosys Technologies Ltd., and another from IBM.

You can’t escape those corporate signposts whether on the TV or on the highway, or online. Welcome to Web 2.0. and to the promise of communities.

Related articles:

Finding gold on the Net is a long shot
Corrupt bloggers: part of the dark underbelly of the Internet

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