The Internet, Social Networks and Employee Productivity posted an article by Eric J. Sinrod, a partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Duane Morris (no known relation to my good friend Philip Morris), in which the question of whether social networks can co-exist with the workplace is addressed.

Eric points out that, according to , 50 percent of businesses using Barracuda Web Filters are blocking social networking services like MySpace and Facebook. Most businesses, however, are more concerned about security (viruses, trojans, etc.) than they are about the fact that their employees are wasting time “poking” during business hours.

Duncan Riley Takes on an Ill, 88 Year-Old Nobel Prize Winner: Take a Guess Who Actually Has a Point

I haven’t picked on Duncan Riley at TechCrunch for some time. I guess I simply got used to his inane posts and have been preoccupied with other things. But after reading his latest post, in which he takes on Doris Lessing, who was just awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, I felt like it was worth picking apart Duncan’s illogical drivel if for nothing other than old time’s sake.

In her acceptance speech, Lessing decries the “inanities” of the Internet and expresses concern about a global society in which more and more people seem to know less and less about the world they live in. As an author, it’s not surprising that she’s saddened that young people are reading less and spending more time on the computer.

Study: IMs a Crutch for Increasingly “Soft” Teens

An Associated Press-AOL poll released today seems to confirm something that has been discussed previously on The Drama 2.0 Show: communications technologies such as IM are negatively impacting the communications skills of their users. This latest poll reveals that:

A couple of quotes from teen IM users are even more telling:

Generation Qualude

Thomas Friedman, author of the , wrote an interesting op-ed piece in today’s New York Times. He adds to the generational alphabet soup by entitling his piece “Generation Q.”

I just spent the past week visiting several colleges — Auburn, the University of Mississippi, Lake Forest and Williams — and I can report that the more I am around this generation of college students, the more I am both baffled and impressed.

I am impressed because they are so much more optimistic and idealistic than they should be. I am baffled because they are so much less radical and politically engaged than they need to be.

The Internet Might Be Rotten but Your Neighborhood Doesn’t Have to Be

To those who have emailed me: I assure you that I am very much alive. I did not die in a tragic base jumping accident, I was not kidnapped by a Marxist rebel group and I have not (yet) been indicted by the Feds for racketeering and money laundering. I’ve just been really, really busy in First Life. But I figured it was time to put together a post just to keep my blogging skills alive, so without further delay…

The Underground is the New Mainstream

Brown University student Maha Atal wrote for the Brown Daily Herald back in March 2007 entitled “A mainstream that is hard to pinpoint.” It’s an interesting read from a cultural standpoint and a business standpoint as the “mainstream” has relevance to both.

Youth movements from the 1950s to the 1990s, though always championing the rhetoric of individualism against an impersonal “system,” were also always about group identity - young people have traditionally banded together against a clearly identified “establishment” consisting of the government and their parents.

The Impact of Technology on Social Interaction

I’m fascinated by human interactions. I’m also, of course, fascinated by technology and media, which means that I’m extremely fascinated about how they all relate to each other. The social networking phenomenon, for instance, has been of great interest to me because of how it has impacted the way we connect and relate to each other (both positively and negatively).

So it was with great intrigue that I read this weekend’s New York Times article entitled “What’s Good for a Business Can Be Hard on Friends.” It details the impact cell phone plans are having on relationships. An unintentional side effect of cell phone calling plans which typically encourage calls “in-network” is that relationships between friends and acquaintances are being altered based upon which network individuals find themselves in. Times reporter Angel Jennings explains:

Web 2.0 and Non-Profits

I had an interesting conversation within the past week that brought up a fact that I think is known but often goes unexamined by most: non-profits are often extremely inefficient at achieving their full potential because they are not run like bottom-line-driven businesses. While a discussion of management theory and principles for non-profits is outside of the scope of this blog (and my expertise), it did get me thinking about the ways in which the Internet and Web 2.0 might be able to play a role in assisting non-profits do the good deeds that they intend to.

Web 2.0 Fuels Narcissism, Is Destroying America

I figured it was time for a sensational headline, and I finally found a topic worthy of one. The opinion section of the San Francisco Chronicle had an interesting article this past Sunday entitled “Too much self-esteem spoils your child.” In it, Andrew Lam of New America Media comments on the level of narcissism that exists within Generation Y (also known as the “MySpace Generation”) and provides an intriguing cultural comparison:

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