Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Social Media Builds Social Ties

The Gruntled Center is naturally interested in a blog called Gruntled Employees. Jay Shepherd writes about employment law that makes for happy employees. He had an interesting post lately, "Vote 'Yes' on Social-Media Law." He urges companies to accept social media as a fact of life, and encourage employees to use them well, rather than try to prohibit social media on the job.

One of Shepherd's arguments for a "Yes" rather than a "No" policy is "Yes, these employees can act as effective brand ambassadors for their companies, and they should be encouraged to do so."

I am not precisely an employee of Centre College, and I am not at all an employee of the Hub Coffee House. Nor do I think of the work and life of either institution as merely a brand. But I am very interested in the life and prosperity of both communities.

A real example of what Shepherd is talking about occurred while I was reading Gruntled Employees. This exchange happened on Facebook:

Samantha ___ Misses Centre College. Who's with me?

(Within minutes, 12 alums liked this status.)

I wrote (I like your sentiment in missing Centre. I am still here, sitting in the Hub. Now I am thinking about y'all.)

Ted ___ Now I miss the Hub!

By such exchanges social media help build up the ties of social life. And, incidentally, help the "brand" if it, too, builds up the ties of social life.

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