We the knowing, led by the unwilling…the copy

stopsign-logoI don’t usually do this, but I’ve decided to copy a post I wrote for Digital Pivot over here to 5Ws because the issue is important and I want to share it with as many audiences as possible. Please consider joining the fight!  ~ aba


Fear-mongering IT specialists and clueless executives just don’t get it. When it comes to social media, sticking your head in the sand just makes it easier for people to kick you in the ass.

There’s an old quote attributed to an anonymous author that goes, “We the unwilling, led by the unknowing are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.” It’s time to update the quote.

Every day, you hear people complaining about companies doing their best to shut off their employees from the electronic world that is growing by leaps and bounds around them. It is these companies that will be left behind, wandering around, scratching their heads, wondering how their competitors got so far ahead of them.

Shel Holtz has started a tremendous web site dedicated to bringing an end to this nonsense. The description at StopBlocking.org says it best:

Companies everywhere are blocking employee access to the Net, fueled by questionable research and irresponsible pronouncements of self-serving individuals and organizations. This site is designed to serve as an information resource for those who believe the benefits of providing access far outweigh the risks.

It appears to be an incredibly useful resource and I encourage you to check it out and get involved. Of course, even though it’s designed to help you help your employer, you may have to access it at home since I know the site is now being blocked at some companies!

In honor of such a farcical management tactic as blocking access to the Internet and all its power, I give you my updated version of that famous anonymous quote:

“We the knowing, led by the unwilling are not doing what’s possible, for they are ungrateful. We have done so much work, for so long a workday, with so little support, we are now more qualified to do anything online but are doing nothing because we are blocked.” ~ Ari B. Adler

2 comments on “We the knowing, led by the unwilling…the copy

  1. This misses the main point that many companies use to justify the blocking: the cost of the bandwidth required to accommodate these “new” services. So, to save money and to guide users toward productive use of their time at work, they block things like video and flash streaming, iTunes, and on and on. My company blocks mail ports that I would use to plug my personal machine into their network to download my personal mail. Why, because it already costs them an arm and a leg to provide the bandwidth for the multiple locations across the state for just the real work to be done, and they are constrained by a budget. Gee, not to far from my case at home either. I’d love to have a nice fat pipe at home, with gazillions of video streams and all that, but know that if I want to pay the mortgage, I’ve got to limit other spending.

    Sure, if it were not for a budget, I’d be out there advocating for all the bandwidth and new media and even help show the rather timid IT director how it could make our company stand out as a model in our industry. Sigh. But, until the money is there, their ears will remain closed.


    • Thanks for the note John. I’ve long thought that the scare tactics used by IT people have more to do with budgets — either for cost of services or (misplaced) concerns over making sure people are working hard every second of the day — than they do with actual security threats.


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