As the description states “Informal channels of communication are vital networks that allow people to socialize and collaborate and, arguably, work more efficiently. Technology can make these networks indispensable, as shown by user-driven wikis and social networking sites like Facebook. ”
True and true. And then here’s a kicker. These networks exist whether organizations sanction them or not. Although not perfect, social networking software at least brings old hidden networks out into the open and at best helps subject them to other societal norms (think gender parity and racial diversity). Telling employees they can’t use facebook doesn’t destroy the network. It just forces it somewhere else, somewhere where you have even less visibility into how it manifests itself, who it benefits and how it grows.
In essence you strengthen old hidden networks. That thing we use to call the old boys club.