We always look here for new data on the use of social technologies and how they translate to experiences. This week, our curiously was piqued when a number of publications including CIO Insight and Morning Star cited survey results that suggest that social media negatively impacts productivity to the tune of millions of dollars each year.
When we looked at the public survey data, it very quickly became evident that as part of those ‘highly disruptive social technologies,’ are not only social networks, SMS, and IM but also emails, document searches on desktops and other tasks that have existed long before social media was named.
Why should we care?
As high-value consultant we regularly battle IT executives’ lack of knowledge and misconception about social technologies. While marketing and product executives urge us to help them sink their teeth effectively into social technologies and to develop sound social media strategies that help them connect with their audiences, IT executives, who get their information from different sources of information than those ready by marketers, are often confronted with the type of defeating information as in this survey.
What many don’t realize is that for research to be valid and reliable, many elements of statistical design research that need to be satisfied. To start with, the research need not be biased. In this case, the survey was published by a company named USamp (United Sample) and commissioned by a software solution provider harmon.ie – a company specializing in providing productivity-enhancing solution to large enterprises. You obviously see the problem here.
Commissioning research that is designed to help articulate the value of a solution is not new. It has been done for decades across all industries. But this is exactly where our judgment, and the judgment of established, professional publications should kick in. Our productivity would be much enhanced if we didn’t have to sift through unreliable data and instead, could trust those who publish data to take better care of publishing fact-based information.
Are we dreamers? Perhaps. Still, here, we hit “Dislike” on this practice and this survey. We eagerly await more factual information about all things social technologies, productivity, and their benefits (or draw backs) for individuals and companies.