2011: The Year of Me.

Yes, the year of me. The year of: I will use whatever app I want and you can’t stop me. Social networking, Google apps, streaming media, web mail, instant messaging, and file sharing of all types – are all running rampant on our networks – right beside SAP, Jive, salesforce.com, and GoToMeeting.

Time wasting, productivity killing, bandwidth hogging apps! Block ‘em all. Make me work! Surveys abound saying that 50% or more of companies block social networking – yet actual data shows that an AVERAGE of 16 social networking applications are running on 97% of the organizations analyzed. I am no statistician (or politician), but a 40% or more difference is not a small margin of error.

How am I using social media?  In some cases, my use is voyeuristic – I am watching my “wall” or “timeline” to keep up-to-date as needed with my friends and family while doing my job. Just like the “old” days when instant messaging was “hot”.  Or should I say still is hot, since an average of 10 webmail apps and 11 IM apps are still found on more than 95% of the companies analyzed.  That tells me that they are both healthy and thriving despite the social network juggernaut. Social media use is also embraced by the company as we figure out new and exciting ways to reach our current or new clients and partners. Or it is driving social change. Never before have so many world events garnered so much worldwide attention – social media is a huge part of that.

The year of me increased my circle of friends. But it also increased my potential enemies. 800 million people sharing too many unknown photos, links, and documents immediately raises privacy concerns. Rightfully so, the response has been to encrypt it. A better response would be to think first; should I click? Should I post this? Should I say this? But bad habits change slowly. And the cyber creeps know this. They know too that the common communications mechanisms are watched closely. So they use other, non-standard ports and protocols to execute their malicious tasks.

Yes, 2011 is the year of me. My applications. My malware. My pictures. My data. It was indeed an exciting year. What will 2012 hold?

Thanks for reading.