German companies block access to social networks

Two weeks ago, I blogged about how German car maker Porsche was blocking employees’ access to social networks such as Facebook and Xing for fears of industrial espionage. Yesterday, German weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported that more and more German companies are blocking social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

“For the majority of our employees many external social media sites are not accessible at work for security reasons,” a spokesperson for Commerzbank said.

Other companies such as Volkswagen, E.On and HeidelbergCement have banned Facebook and Twitter at work for some or most employees. While security reasons may be the most cited argument to block access to social networks, other reasons include productivity loss and increased strain on internal networks as employees download or stream large video files at work.

Footnote: The official Volkswagen page on Facebook has 484,000 fans.

Now you can “anklopfen” on Facebook

While traditional media gloatingly proclaim the death of Facebook, the social networking giant does what it can to get closer to users. Yesterday a German version of the site was launched and it was done through a crowd-sourcing initiative in which 1,000 members helped translate the site in just two weeks.

“Users who added the Facebook translation application were allowed to submit translations inline while browsing the site. Facebook users then approved all translations through a voting system. For example, users agreed on ‘anklopfen’ to describe the Facebook-coined term ‘poke’.” 

According to the press release, the person who was the most frequent translator was responsible for more than 1000 of the winning sentences. Over 40 contributors translated 100 sentences or more.

Oh, and by the way, there is an error in the article at about Facebook stats. The article claims that 400,000 UK members left the site the last two months while in reality the only known fact is that it had 400,000 less unique visitors in the UK in January.

German social network sold for 85 million euro

StudiVZ, a large German online social network for students, has been sold to the publishing house Holtzbrinck for about 85 million Euros. Another media giant, Axel Springer, was involved in the bidding process but apparently Holtzbrinck already had a minority stake in StudiVZ and won the battle.

Holtzbrinck owns for example DIE ZEIT and Handelsblatt. [Via Paidcontent]

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