Social Media has changed the way that the world largely communicates. Advances in social website technology now allow users to keep up with individuals and groups on a more intimate level that they may not have had the ability to stay connected to in the past.
Often, however, navigating though social websites can be confusing while determining which version of “you” to display. No, I’m not alluding to multiple personalities! Online, lines typically blur when business social networking or hobby social networking becomes a part of your daily web interactions. It especially becomes difficult in determining how to fit the other versions of “you” into your personal social profiles. Most people have many interests and versions of themselves aimed at various audiences. However, most social websites only allow one account per email address.
How do you identity which foot to put forward and where? If all of this confuses you, try mapping it out based on how you interact with others online. This can be as lo-tech as a pencil and paper.
1. First, you should identify the personas that you would like to share.
2. Then list the things you would like to share and associate them with their respective audiences.
3. The next step would be to include the accounts that you already have and/or the ones that you would like to have.
Let’s examine the following different personas for the same fictional person, Jane Doughnut. Jane shares personal items of general interest with her friends and family as well as photos and information about her kids. She shares cooking demonstrations with strangers, friends and family and information about her employment history and endeavors with colleagues, former colleagues and strangers. In addition, she shares company (a zoo) information with anyone interested in her company’s work.
Personal Jane (email@example.com)
1. Jane’s Profiles:
a. www.facebook.com – Since Jane wants to be connected to her high school friends, closer co-workers and people whom she’s known throughout her life, she signed up for a Facebook account with her own name and personal email address.
b. www.myspace.com – Jane also has a MySpace account from a few years ago that she rarely uses but loves that when her friends visit the page, they can hear her favorite song so she keeps it live.
2. Jane’s Kids:
a. www.flickr.com, www.blurb.com, www.facebook.com – Jane is very proud of her kids and wants to update everyone in her circle about what her kids are doing. However, only a handful of her family members have a Facebook account to read her updates. Furthermore, a lot of her family only want to see photos of the kids and not all of Jane’s personal status updates. As a result, Jane got a Flickr account so that she can upload pictures and videos of her kids and share them in a variety of ways including email. For her grandmother who does not own a computer, she imports her Flickr photos into a photo album that she creates through www.blurb.com
and mails the book to her Grandmother.
b. www.facebook.com – For those who are on Facebook, Jane imports the Flickr photos into her photos to share with her friends in the newsfeed.
c. www.friendfeed.com – To keep abreast of her extended family, Jane has a private room on Friendfeed where she aggregates family blog posts, photostreams, status updates and tweets.
Hobby Jane (Healthy_Cooking_with_Jane@gmail.com)
1. Healthy Cooking with Jane:
a. www.facebook.com Since Jane loves cooking, she wanted to connect with others who share the same passion so with her existing Facebook account, she started a Facebook group. This group allows her to post items about cooking that she can share with her members for discussion. Jane is listed as an admin for this group so her name displays in the sidebar. The group name is “Healthy Cooking with Jane.” Since she does not know all of her members personally, she lists her contact in the group as her other gmail address, Healthy_Cooking_With_Jane@gmail.com.
b. www.wordpress.com or www.wordpress.org – Jane also blogs about cooking in a blog called “Healthy Cooking with Jane” on WordPress. Jane can link to her blog from her Facebook group to share posts with her members. However, there is no automatic import so she manually posts links to her and others’ blog posts and articles to keep the group very active.
c. www.twitter.com – To update everyone she cooks with frequently, Jane tweets on her personal Twitter account. To keep things consistent with this version of Jane, she tweets under the name Healthy_Cooking_with_Jane (no spaces) so that she can be searched by people who may be interested in the same subject, healthy cooking. Jane had the option of naming her Twitter account JaneyD as her friends used to call her but no one would search it and it would be limited to those who were already familiar with her. In Twitter, she occasionally links to her blog posts but she mostly tweets links about cooking in general to truly be informative and not obviously self-promoting.
d. www.meetup.com, www.facebook.com, www.wordpress.com – Jane also occasionally gets offline to demonstrate her cooking expertise. She used Meetup.com to create a Meetup group that meets once a month at Jane’s house where she cooks her latest recipes. In the Meetup group, Jane frequently lets everyone know that they can find her on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter by telling them to search “Healthy Cooking with Jane.”
e. www.youtube.com While Jane demonstrates her cooking prowess in her Meetup group, her friend records her demonstrations on video. This video is uploaded to YouTube so that those who couldn’t make it to the Meetup group get to see her demonstrations on her YouTube channel.
f. www.friendfeed.com Jane also has a Friendfeed account, mentioned in Personal Jane, under her personal email address where she can set up different rooms. She set up a room for Healthy Cooking with Jane where she can aggregate everything else that she’s doing online. On Jane’s blog (where she gets the most traffic out of all of her endeavors), she embedded image/link code (works best with WordPress) that displays the aggregated feeds from Twitter, YouTube and her other favorite blogs about cooking. She often gets information on healthy cooking from her Google Alerts (set up with her secondary personal email, Healthy_Cooking_With_Jane@gmail.com) so information to post comes to her email inbox.
Professional Jane (Jane@janeszoo.com)
1. Personal Professional (zookeeper):
a. www.linkedin.com – Since Jane likes to network professionally, she has her experience as a zookeeper on LinkedIn. If she ever wanted to switch to a different zoo, LinkedIn will give her the ability to meet others in the zoo that she may want to work for. She is connected to a large number of current and former colleagues and has several recommendations. This account is linked to her personal email address so she is always able to access it.
2. Company Information:
a. www.blogger.com – Since Jane is tech savvy, she is responsible for the company blog on Blogger. She blogs about zookeeping on a daily basis. Although her name displays as the author of the post, the contact email that she chose to display is her work email.
b. www.facebook.com – With her personal email account, she started a Facebook page for the zoo. She is not listed as an administrator on the page itself. The page looks as if it is only a representation of the zoo. This page gives her flexibility to RSS the blog posts that she creates about the zoo. She also posts polls and quizzes about animals as well as videos created at the zoo for the fans.
c. www.twitter.com – To draw attention to articles on zoo keeping as well as her zoo blog posts, Jane tweets with the zoo’s Twitter page. She frequently posts links on the micro-blogging site. Tweets appear to come from the zoo and not from Jane. This account was opened with Jane’s work email address.
In conclusion, Jane has properly linked her various accounts to their respective audiences and shares information of interest with each audience. She understands the importance of targeting her different audiences so that she can provide only content that appeals to that audience and not content that they would find irrelevant. Jane also needs to get outside more often and drink less coffee as her proficiency with and affinity for social networks has left her with a severe vitamin D deficiency, carpal tunnel, eye strain and skin pigment loss. It could be worse, however, as she could become interested in online gaming.