The company that I work for has a Social Media Policy in place. The policy was created to provide clear guidelines to all Head Office employees, franchisees and their employees in regards to all forms of social media.
Currently no one other than representatives from the Marketing Department is permitted to reply to posts or comments on any form of social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc). As a company we have a Facebook page; however stores cannot create a Facebook page for their individual stores.
This policy was created to ensure there was a ‘branded’ and uniform message being sent to our consumers. Previously there had been issues with inappropriate material being posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc by franchisees and store employees.
Therefore, this policy has removed my ability to use Facebook in my online course. However I would like to look at using other forms of social media, such as Voice Thread, a blog or a wiki that can be contained inside the course to provide social interaction within the participants.
I was interested by one of the results on a survey conducted by Hewitt & Forte (2006) in regards to student faculty relationships on Facebook which stated that “many students indicated that the student/faculty relationship should remain professional and should not be familiar or sociable”.
I would tend to agree with this statement as I use Facebook for my own personal use and keeping in contact with friends and family who live at a distance. And as such am not sure I would like my participants to be able to access my personal life and vice versa.
Hewitt, Anne and Andrea Forte. 2006. “Crossing Boundaries: Identity Management and Student/Faculty Relationships on the Facebook.” A paper presented at Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2006, November 4-8, 2006, Banff, Alberta, Canada.