Where do you draw the line or do you even have a line? Where does work end and personal life begin? Or does it? Or is it so blurred that you have no idea? Which social media do you use and which do you use effectively? We all know there there is a plethora of social media and networking options, which is constantly growing as time moves forward. Which media option is for anyone and which is for a select “few” (few being quite relative)?
For me, I consistently use Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, and my blogs (recent WordPress convert. While I actually maintain about 4 blogs fairly regularly, each over something specific, except one, a catch all, Travis’s Thoughts). While I use LinkedIn, I struggle with maximizing its use just as even Dave Wilkins, whom I consider to be a Social Media expert (see his article about certifications!), is struggling. I have not yet began to use YouTube or Slideshare effectively yet (well, I may need to create a YouTube channel or something first; that might help). And I know I should be using another Social Media/Network site that I am currently not using.
I use Twitter for a variety of reasons. I actually have more than one account, which has gotten me into trouble in the past. Now that I am learning Twitter more and more, and by no means do I consider myself a social media expert, I believe I am becoming better at Twitter, though I don’t tweet as much as I’d like. I actually do recommend two Twitter accounts, and here’s why.
Not everyone is interested in your or my personal life in detail. I have one twitter friend (actually college buddy) who is constantly tweeting. He literally dominates my Twitter feed over the most annoying and dumbest things from I am having lunch with @whomever and @putnamehere, as if I know who they are! He says the most obvious things, to driving to such and such. His favorite tweet is something like this: past:BLAH BLAH/pres:BLAH/fut:BLAH BLAH. Ok, I may want to know who he knows that is on Twitter, but frankly, I don’t care when he’s driving and where he’s driving. But that’s how he’s chosen to use Twitter as a log book for everything he does. So, solution? I could stop following him, but I don’t want to dog my college friend. While I wish Twitter would create something like Facebook used to have and select an option like (Less of @thisguy and More of @thatgal), but until then he only appears on my Twitter feed but not my device. I feel just don’t need to know what he’s doing every second of the day.
So likewise I know that many in my Twitter world may not care about my personal life so I have one business and one personal which is connected to my Facebook (though sometimes this makes for awkward Facebook status updates). I don’t care whether people blurr the lines and crossover, though I also wish Twitter could make it so that you can tweet the same thing on two accounts (that would be awesome!) because some things are that good to be said among friends, co-workers, and my “Tweet peeps.” As far as I am concerned, people can follow or not follow just as I can follow and not follow. I am either interesting or not, and frankly I know that I am uninteresting sometimes (not recognizing this is foolish). Personally, I’d rather say nothing than say something uninteresting (though this can lead to dry spells). And as Dave Wilkins said, “I didn’t really “get” Twitter until I had a few hundred followers.” While I am not there (and being actually quite new at this), I am growing and learning. So if you want follow me, I would love to have you! @travka.
I am not really sure how to use this network very well. To me, it is cumbersome and awkward. Why can’t the home screen stop asking me for more contacts? Do I allow any and all people I know to connect to me? Or do I limit it to people I have actually worked with or networked with? For example, should I allow that guy who works in the same company as I do join my network even though I have never met him once in my entire life? Yet, I see great potential with LinkedIn; however, I do not find that people have used it very well, at least in the circles that I run.
Generally, I don’t like to connect to people that I haven’t met in some form or fashion or at least had conversations with over the “phone, IM or Twitter.” So if you want to invite me to join your network, I’d be more than glad, just make sure you send me a message telling me why you want to connect and the nature of our previous connections. This message needs to better than “We are both members of THISGROUP.” Connect with me.
Facebook is my preferred social network. I like it much better than MySpace or Bebo or Hi5 or any other simply because it is real and authentic. This is a bit more personal place for me. At one point, I had two Facebook accounts; however, when my place of work decided to forgo this, I dropped the account waiting for them to come back around. However, I like to reserve my Facebook account for people that I actually have met and know, hence I do not have an icon over to the right. Other good social networks like specialty ones on Ning.com are fantastic, but it depends heavily on the community manager.
DELICIOUS & SLIDESHARE
Personally, I love Delicious by itself. While I have not yet understood all of its capabilities and possibilities, I like that I can connect with people and send them links via Delicious. As it stands right now, I am grooming my boss into using this tool.
I also like Slideshare very much. It is actually a fantastic way to create good PPTs together and well if people so chose to go that route. I have learned a great deal from Slideshare and have shown others many of its presentations. I have even used some as a foundation or a starting point to my own personal presentations, which I do not give out or show publicly unless I receive the expressed permission of the original creator unless I feel I have changed it substantially enough to warrant “fair use.”
We all have our own Social Media/Network “policies” written or otherwise. It may be beneficial for you to begin a personal “working” policy that you can change and transform as you learn more. Here are two other policies that helped me as I sat to think/write: here and here. Other people have these policies too, and we need to be aware of them respecting their “virtual space.” Just as Kelley Dingee from Fistful of Talent said, “It’s in your best interest to figure out how to contact them and establish rapport so as not to freak them out or invade their virtual space.”