Friday, 31 August 2007

Power to the Students

Anyone who doubted that Power has shifted to "the People", and to Facebook in particular, should look no further than the report today that HSBC has "been forced into a humiliating U-turn over overdraft charges for graduates after an online campaign orchestrated by students using the social networking site Facebook". (The words are from The Times this morning)

I won't go into the ins and outs of the case, but the massed ranks of graduates who expressed their feelings in no uncertain terms on Facebook - and threatened to boycott the bank - clearly won the day. At the moment Facebook is the the chosen site for graduates (Myspace and Bebo have a less well educated and/or younger following). What HSBC feels today, most others will feel tomorrow. It won't just be campaigns. It will be recommendations - good and bad. Reputations will be made and lost on Facebook.

That's why the current moves by some employers to "Ban Facebook" is not only ill-considered but impossible anyway. If you are recruiting anybody sub 30 today, they will look you up on Facebook and see what your current employees feel about working for you. Indeed, they will want to interface with them too.

That's why you should Embrace social networking and start using it to your advantage. Resistance is futile.

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