The impact of computer-based communication can be considered as a revolution of communication. Computer based communications are currently the most common tools of communication not only in organizations, but also in social lives. Many people spend most of their time on a computer working, studying or having fun by playing various computer games. Blogs and Facebook are some of computer-based communication tools, which have had a great impact on communication. Blogs are used as tools through which debate over various issues is conducted. As a result, they allow individuals to participate in debates on subjects of their interest. In business, customer, employees and other groups can participate in debates.
Through blogs, market information related to various issues such as taste, customer preference, competition and customer satisfaction can be obtained. They are also important public relation tools where public relation officers can respond to issues arising from an organization. Facebook is the most popular social networking tool at present.
Through facebook, individuals can share their social lives such as photos, birthday celebrations, updates and events. Facebook has provided an affordable, fast and effective tool through which communication is relayed. However, it has been noted that long hours spent on facebook and blogs can affect an individual’s productivity adversely, however it is clear that if well managed, these tools can enhance the performance of an organization greatly. Some of the areas where they can be effectively be used is in advertisement, public relations and organizational communication.
Development in computer and internet technology has had a significant impact on communication. Currently, computer based communication has become very popular.
This is evident in its increased adoption by many individuals and organizations on daily basis (Perkins, 2008, p. 44). Many people spend most of their time on the computer working, studying or having fun by playing computer games. Computer technology has increasingly been integrated into people’s cultures. For example, carrying a laptop has become a norm rather that an exception. Consequently, the computer has become a major tool for communication.
Today, using email, instant messaging, Facebook, blogs and other computer-based communications has become very common in that they are almost replacing other conventional means of communication (Kent, 2008, p. 32). Facebook and blogs have become very common communication tools. This report addresses the impact of these tools on communication. In addition, the report focuses on how these tools are currently being used, the challenges experienced when using them and what can be done in order to effectively address the challenges observed.
Enhanced Business communication through Computer-based Technologies
2.1 Importance of Blogs to Business Communication
Blogging involves development of blogs or web logs which are internet-based journals that can be accessed by customers for vital information about an organization. The impact of blogging in business communication is based on their ability to replace the conventional means of communicating with customers by sending them newsletters through the post office (Cox, Martinez & Quinlan, 2008, p. 4). The main objective of blogs is to support active debates.
Blogs allow people from different parts of the world to contribute to various debatable issues of interest. In this way, a business organization can pose questions to their clients and in turn get a feedback particularly useful in product development and investment ideas (Cox et al, 2008, p. 5). Additionally, through blogs, customers can participate in debates concerning an organization’s operations, products or services. However, in order to catch the attention of regular bloggers, the web log or blog must be frequently updated. From the above discussion, it is evident that blogs have two main roles in business. These include market research and public relation. This is because market information that relate to taste and preference, competition and customer satisfaction is accessible through blogs.
By providing blogs where customers can raise their issues, an organization can succeed in customer relations management. Blogs allow public relation officers in an organization to respond to issues raised in subsequent debates. In addition, their ability to facilitate debates with former employees and loyal customers, they can help create a positive image of an organization (Cox et al, 2008, p.
5). Another important aspect of blogging entails customer-generated advertising, which can allow a business organization to communicate directly with its clients through blog entries such as opinions, reviews, discussions, and feedbacks.
2.2 The Importance of Facebook to Business Communication
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking tools among college students and businesspersons. Currently, Facebook allows subscription from all over the world thus connecting millions of people globally.
Through facebook, people share their personal and business posts on a daily basis (Pannunzio & Nelson, 2008, p. 8). Facebook has thus succeeded in creating a virtual community where individuals can participate as family members. In addition, facebook support live chats where friends can chat freely. Furthermore, Facebook consists of useful applications such as MyOffice, which allows users to communicate business posts, news, and ideas to other users at no cost. This is a great business opportunity for organizations looking forward to reach out to their customers on a worldwide platform (Pannunzio & Nelson, 2008, p. 8).
3. Impended Business Communication through Computer-based Technologies
3.1 The negative effects of Blogging on Business Communication
Blogs pose both ethical and business threats to many business organizations.
This is because they lack clear guidelines regarding the amount and type of information that an employee or organizations can share with customers. In this case, many organizations and employees have found themselves giving out more information about their practices than required (Cox et al, 2008, p. 6). Another problem of blogging is related to misguided or malevolent corporation/ employee weblogs. This practice has led to defamation of corporations’ names including their artistically developed brands. In addition, employees can be fired or reprimanded for posting damaging information about their organizations.
For instance, Google, which forbids external blogging for its employees, fired one of its employees for displaying information about the corporation on an external blog. Another aspect of blogging which can lead to a damaged organization or brand name is astroturfing. This entails marketing campaigns comprising of paid participants with the aim of deceiving the public. If discovered by the public, the organization stands to loose trust from customers and it may damage the credibility of its blogs (Cox et al., 2008, p.
3.2 The negative effects of Facebook on Business Communication
As important as it may seem, Facebook has a variety of negative impacts on business communication. Communication through social networks disrupts normal social interactions between business organizations and their clients. Therefore, this derails social development especially among the young generations (Pannunzio & Nelson, 2008, p. 9). In addition, lack of normal social interactions such as face-to-face communications can undermine basic communication skills such as negotiation and bargaining skills, which are important in business communication.
Moreover, social networks consume a large percentage of employees’ time and organizational resources thereby lowering productivity, efficiency, and performance (Pannunzio & Nelson, 2008, p. 10). Furthermore, the probability of giving out personal and corporate information is higher in social networks than is the case with other conventional platforms of interaction. It is also argued that the level of office gossip is bound to be higher through social networks than in real world communication (Pannunzio & Nelson, 2008, p. 8).
4. The solutions/ risk management strategies
Before joining any social network, it is advisable to consider a number of factors. Experts recommend that these factors should be considered in four major steps which include investigating, observing, joining in and moving up. However, for many business corporations, it is important to follow certain guidelines which govern the development of internal and external blogs. In addition, these corporations should design plans aimed at assessing the applicability and the level of accessibility of the computer-based technologies amongst their employees (Kent, 2008, p. 35). On the other hand, because of the sensitivity of the information displayed on social networks, there is the need to select one employee who can be trusted with the corporation’s internal secrets and with the responsibility of communicating with others and the general public.
Finally, business organizations should attempt to monitor their online presence in order to track blog entries that may be malicious and damaging to its brand names (Kent, 2008, p. 38).
This report explores the impact of computer-based technologies on business communication and the possible solutions to the identified impediments. The impact of computer-based communication is evident in various ways. For example, blogs, Facebook and other computer-based communications have become very common in various areas. Blogs and facebook have become preferred tools in debate, communication and social life.
Blogs are used as tools through which debate over various business issues is conducted. On the other hand, Facebook has become an important tool in social life. Blogs and Facebook can be used for the benefit of an organization. Blogs can be used to facilitate positive debates which lead to product development and service improvement. For example, they can be used by employees, customers and other groups to debate issues of common interest. Through blogs, an organization can be able to keep track of issues affecting its operations.
This will enable the organization to respond effectively. On the other hand, Facebook can be used in various ways for the benefit of an organization. For example, it is used to conduct advertisements, public relations management and communication. However, the two computer-based technologies can also act as impediments to successful business communication.
Therefore, there is the need to strike balance between social networking and business practices.
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