The Lines are Getting Blurry
Today, I saw a tweet from @omarg, journalist and contributor to NPRs All Tech Considered, about the new Twitter Directory on the Austin-American Statesman‘s Web site. I was immediately excited. Finally, a quality site to find cool, local Tweeple!! I clicked on the budurl and was instantly disappointed. I couldn’t even get past the first question.
BUSINESS OR PERSONAL? BUSINESS OR PERSONAL? BUSINESS OR PERSONAL?
I feel like this question haunts me. As the Social Media Manager at National Instruments, I get asked at least once a week questions like, “Do I have to become our VP’s friend on Facebook? (Sorry, John). How do I block my boss from seeing my pictures from the party last Friday night? Do I need to create two Twitter accounts – one for “work me” and one for “home me.” In my opinion, the answer is a resounding no.
Gone our the days of the headshot. I’m both professional and goofy. This is the ying and the yang of me. And I’m not alone.
My friend Morgan and I often dream of a world where we have one email account (preferably Gmail) for all of our communications. Of course, I’ll always keep my spam account as well, but for the rest of the communications, streamlining systems would make me more efficient. Yes, I admit that I sometimes answer personal emails at the office, but I also respond to LabVIEW tweets on the weekends. As a social media professional, the 9-5 work schedule is not an option, and I love that!
Recently, my friend/coworker (another blurry line) Jenn asked if she should create a separate Twitter account for her role as the Embedded Campaign Manager at NI. When I asked why she wanted to do so, she responded by saying, “well, I tweet a lot about running.” While I’m not sure of the exact demographic overlap of embedded engineers with runners, I do know that I enjoy following people that are open about who they are and what they are doing.
Many companies may feel different about this. After reading posts like Facebook Post Gets Worker Fired on ESPN.com and following the recent Dominos incident, it’s clear that institutions must have a mantra of hiring the best and the brightest for this model to work. By trusting your employees, you can build an army of intelligent folks discussing your products and engaging in meaningful dialog online.
Let me know your thoughts!