Policy creation often falls on IT leadership

With social networking policies becoming the bailiwick of IT in small to medium-sized companies, IT leaders may need some help.

A TechRepublic member recently wrote to me with a common complaint -- his IT department has historically been tasked with creating policies to guide employee behavior when it comes to use of equipment (security policy, software installation policy). But with social networking and blogs, things have gotten more complicated.

Employees have the means to put any thought or data out there for the world to see. And because the line between work and private life has become more blurred with mobile devices, what they're saying and where they're saying it can cause a company quite a few headaches.

Every company now needs policy guidelines as to what an employee can and cannot say on a social media platform, but as stated in this stealthmode blog, "it's when we get into the employee guidelines for social media that we can get into trouble in the enterprise."

Some companies are large enough to foist the task of creating policies off on the Legal Department. But small- to medium-sized companies don't have that luxury. The TechRepublic member who wrote to me asked if I knew of any free or cheap resources for creating social networking policies.

We have a sample of a simple social networking policy located here for free. I did some research online and found one product that contains about 20 policy templates specific to social networking, including a policy for Facebook use, one for LinkedIn use, one for corporate or personal blogging, etc. There are also some PowerPoint presentations scattered in for IT pros to use to introduce the policies to end users. You can click here for more information on what is included and how much it costs.