How Not to Have Your Company Do Social Networking

I read this post on Gawker quoting a memo from the boss at Gawker:

bq. Along with Scott’s push to update the staff directory, we’re asking for a new form of contact information for you, too. We want you to create a Facebook page.
(This request is actually a non-negotiable demand for everyone at Gawker Media, so do read on. This should take you about three minutes to complete.)

This web site had made fun of the publisher Little Brown earlier for the “decision to make all his Hachette imprint’s editors post online profiles on Publishers Marketplace.”

I wouldn’t think it would have to be said, but listen up peeps! Wanting your employees to blog and network and create online profiles may be an admirable goal, but requiring them to do so is completely counter to the point, or as my colleagues would say, “totally lame.” It is a sure sign you do not get it.

This space lives by independent thought and action, not by top-down requirements by extroverted bosses. I appreciate the urge – I consider myself an extroverted boss. But this forced friending will not get you dates at the social networking parties. You turn people off, you invite flaming, and IMO, you’re wasting time too.