Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Social Media Work/Life Balance Part 1

This is a post that I have been meaning to write for some time now. But events from the last few weekends ago made me realize that I needed to do it sooner, rather than later.

Problem #1 - Monitoring of social media, if done well may cut into your work/life balance

A few weeks ago I took my last "vacation" of the summer a long weekend in my hometown. During a hurricane preparedness meeting we joked about me not being allowed to travel during hurricane season, and the fact that I was "allowed" to go this one time because there was nothing in the gulf that week. The day before I was scheduled to come home, the news about hurricane Edouard reaches me via twitter.

The storm held off until I got into town and I was able to stay on call from home that day, but it was a close call.

The very next weekend, I was busy getting the kids school clothes and supplies together. I did not check twitter all weekend,only to find out on Monday that there was a patient/caregiver having issues in the hospital. I did all that I could to follow up, but the issue had passed. I felt terrible that I was not able to respond more quickly.

Can I be plugged in at all times? Probably not. Maybe we can pass the plug from time to time?


Stephen said...

I am very interested in the work you're doing that you've referenced in this blog.

Regarding the problem of the time required for monitoring, it strikes me that some efficiencies could be found. For instance, I don't know if the tools are available that you would need, but have you been able to look into automation at all? It strikes me that you could probably set up something fairly rudimentary but at least somewhat effective given the methods you are currently using plus a little additional processing. The point of that would be that you could potentially set up an alert system in the event that the automation were to detect a situation that might need a more immediate response.

Particularly as we share an employer, I would be very willing to toss some ideas around with you.

Thomas Jackson said...

Bringing or finding balance in the world of Social Media and Networking is front and center in the U.S. Coast Guard today. The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen is in the process of the largest modernization effort in Coast Guard history.

He's nearly alone in senior leadership on this quest as his senior officers run for cover. The Admiral started his own blog, using blogger as the platform. It took off with great head speed for the first week, and then died off.

We speculate that he lost steam because he didn't understand the technology his was using and how most in the world use social media. Right from the start there were complaints about his moderation of comments. It appeared (and appearance is everything) that only comments of praise for him and his efforts were published. Anything controversial was not.

To fill that gap we launched at the request of readers a commercial version of the Coast Guards official site, which we call On the commercial site, moderation is turned off, and free and open speech is turned on.