So I'm coming late in the game on this one, but have been busy tackling some "fires".
A recent survey by IT services provider Telindus apparently finds that ~40% of 18-24 year olds would seriously consider leaving their job if their company blocks access to Facebook. That's a significant number, and it's always something I mention to my prospective customers, because it's true.
If that generation doesn't have access to social software tools inside of the firewall, you can bet that they are going to go outside of the firewall to use it! And sure, companies may try to block sites like Facebook and MySpace, but there are so many ways to get around those blocks, such as using web proxies (a web proxy is a site you go to that lets you surf other sites without being blocked by your firewall).
So why fight it? Fighting social software/media/networking or whatever you are going to call it is like fighting instant messaging back in the 90's. Instead, realize two things:
- To attract the younger, skilled workforce, companies have to adopt social software
- Human beings are social by nature! By being social, we learn from each other, grow, and become more effective
I, for one, wouldn't consider leaving IBM if they take away social bookmarking (Dogear), for example. But I can certainly guarantee that I would become much less effective in my day-to-day work, effectively costing my employer more money in the long run.