IT Pros Favor Facebook And YouTube

    November 2, 2009

A majority (79%) of information technology (IT) professionals use social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube, but 21 percent do not use social networking sites at all, according to a new survey by CompTIA.

Of the major social networking sites, Facebook was the most popular, with 57 percent of respondents reporting they had been active on the site within the past 30 days. YouTube was the second most popular site (53%), then MySpace (29%), Twitter (25%) and LinkedIn (22%).

Most IT professionals (71%) visited these sites only for personal purposes and 22 percent participated for a mix of personal and work related reasons. Only seven percent used social networking only for work purposes.

"It isn’t surprising that IT professionals tend to regard social networking as a personal rather than a professional pursuit," said Ed Korenman, vice president, global marketing and communications, CompTIA.
"However, their use of work related online discussion forums and virtual communities suggests that professional collaboration is taking place outside of social networking sites."

The survey found IT professionals actively participate in more work-related online communities and discussion forums than non-work related groups. Among those who engage in online communities and forums, the majority (58%) said they did so to find answers to their questions and 46 percent say they do to share information with their co-workers.

Lack of interest (53 percent) was the most common reason cited for not engaging with online communities or forums, followed by lack of need (51 percent), lack of time (38 percent) and lack of value (28 percent). Poor layout or organization (52 percent), lack of relevant new content (52 percent) and too much sales oriented content (52 percent) were the most common reasons given for leaving or limiting participation in an online community.

The online sources used most commonly by IT professionals, include email, with 63 percent reading emailed alerts on a daily or weekly basis. Online newsletters were the second most popular resource (59%), followed by major mainstream media news sites (56%) and industry-specific niche news sites (53%).

"Like most professionals, IT workers look for proven and efficient ways to get the information they need to do their jobs," said Korenman.

"That may be why IT professionals look first to more traditional information sources like mainstream media and industry newsletters."

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