This excerpt from a conversation between Seth Godin and Mitch Joel explains what I believe to be part of the rationale for companies to empower employees and partners in social media. And why employees should seek to develop their own professional presence in social media, for the benefit of the employee and the brand.
Even here, at our lovely host, Google… there are some people I’ve met who work at Google who, the only thing you can say about them is, “Google”. And there are other people who work at Google who are using it as a platform. And Google management is enlightened enough to be fine with that, because if it is a platform that is filled with people who the world needs to hear from, that helps Google; but, also, if you’re not an anonymous cog in a vast system, it’s way more likely that you’re gonna be able to have a career that you can count on.
Yeah, and I think the difference is when you ask people, “What do you do?”, and they say, “I work for Google”, versus the people who will say, “I’m in the middle of helping music industry people really understand what YouTube can do…” That sort of encouraged attitude of what you’re actually doing that matters, versus the construct that the company that I work for is the be-all, end-all of it. But it’s hard for people.