Information convergence and delivery in today’s world has virtually erased any demarcation there exists between your personal and professional life. There is a lot of buzz about Social Media and all its uses and misuses for the past few years. Social Media is essentially your Facebook, MySpace et al. I would like to add another category that is spreading like a virus that I would prefer to call the ‘Professional Media”. This is basically the LinkedIns of the world. I have been getting all sorts of spam from other websites to register myself in their directory so people can find me. I firmly believe that, if someone wants to find somebody on the cyber world it is just a matter of few keystrokes and clicks.
Anyway, my reason for this post is something I have been thinking and trying to do. I think it is an impossible task, but here is what I want to achieve: “Keep my personal and professional footprints on the web separate”. For this reason, I have been exploring the options of having two accounts for everything. I think it is a stupid idea but I want to try it anyway. Let me explain my rationale.
I have a Blog (this one), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email accounts to name a few. This is basically my “Cyber Footprint”. I am not adding all the forums, groups and communities I participate and contribute to. I guess that can also be accounted for as part of my footprint, but may not need two accounts (User ID and Password).
Blogging: When I blog, I want to keep my personal and professional posts separate. I do not want my friends reading all my professional stuff and vice-versa. So, should I have two blogs?
Facebook: It has become a 24×7 workforce worldwide. If you are able to keep manage your work-life balance, you are a genius. Most of my “Active” friends are my colleagues. So, do I Friend all of them? Should I have two accounts? Should there be multi layered access to the information I post on my Facebook?
Twitter: I follow and am being followed by both my personal and professional relatives (how is that?), not just individuals, but also groups. I do not want my personal friends to read all my professional mumbo-jumbo and also, I do not want a colleague of mine read my tweet about what I am eating for breakfast or cooking for dinner. My solution is to keep two accounts.
I guess we all need to figure out what our Avatar is going to be before I put my foot forward in the cyber world and add on to my existing footprint.