Anti-Social Networking

By Brian P. Watson Print this article Print

Anti-Social Networking

Companies are getting more business value by integrating social networks into their IT strategies—both Baseline and its sister publication CIO Insight have covered this trend in recent months. But no networking service is without its kinks. Just ask Christopher Elliott. The travel writer signed up for StumbleUpon, a service for sharing Web sites, according to the Consumerist.com blog. He unchecked a box that offered to invite everyone in his Gmail address book to join, but due to a glitch, every one of his e-mail contacts received the invitation. Elliott said most of his friends laughed it off, but then he worried that the site might share those e-mail addresses with third parties or marketing partners.

Elliott isn't an IT executive, and anyway, glitches happen. Still, the lesson is clear: Before adding a social network to their IT operations, CIOs had better check the fine print to find out what the service plans to do with the company's user information.

Also in Out of Scope:

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The New Japanese Massuer

Businesses are using robots in all kinds of capacities today, from assembly-line production to—as Out of Scope documented a few months back—weed removal. Researchers at Waseda University in Tokyo have a new idea: putting droids to work as masseurs. The WAO-1 robot, which researchers hope to sell to hospitals and spas, comes equipped with ceramic balls on its "hands" designed to deliver soothing facial massages for patients with jaw-related maladies. Clinical trials begin this month, according to a New York Times report.

Next page: Municipal Meltdown

This article was originally published on 2007-10-30
Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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