1 of 2: Your Socially Networked (& Digitally Savvy) Personal Brand

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    In our design work we're often creating personal (often mobile) digital services. Social networking naturally permeates the conversation; especially when you're starting with a communication device, but increasingly when designing for converged services like television, portable media devices and of course web sites.

    This is some thinking I've been doing lately about the ecosystem of social networks and the problem of managing it all and of keeping the personal separate from the professional.

    Some overlap will happen in social networks but maintaining boundaries helps you keep professional contacts eyes off of your private matters, your personal goings on, your family status, your childrens’ accomplishments, etc.

    Public. Your personal brand awareness happens here. Create digital acquaintances. Network. Be a person, but be sure to balance out your travelogue with your sharing of insights.

    Professoional. Limited to people you‘ve worked with. Don’t dilute this network with digital acquaintances.

    Keep these limited to friends and family. These are not professional networking tools. Avoid the urge to accept every friend request. Do you really want to connect with old high school acquaintances?

    Keep these close; limited to people you hang with. Old high school buddies and people you met at conferences don’t need this layer of your digital life.

    This is not a prescription for others but is pretty much a diagram of my own social network. And yes, as lame as it sounds, that's how I have to view it, as a brand exercise. After all, careers have become brand management of your personal expertise, experience, insights and beliefs.


    This is also a reaction to FaceBook's popularity. Facebook is great, but it's risking some odd overlaps when you put close friends, family, high school acquaintances, work colleagues and professional acquaintances in the same space.

    FaceBook has changed the way I use Flickr. Now instead of posting famiy pics and hiding them from the public, but hoping grandma is savvy enough to use Flickr (they're not), I post them to family-centric sites (FaceBook or Geni.com) and I post the public stuff on Flickr.

    .faramarz, artemisia_berlin, nannona, and 24 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. jacMadsen 75 months ago | reply

      Really like this visual map. I think facebook is what hit this concept home for me. I have a real concern with recent professional contacts having access to some of my oldest goofiest friends. Hadn't thought of delineating this way.

    2. Joe Pemberton 75 months ago | reply

      Here's a for instance: someone on Facebook could post a photo of you from 10+ years ago and "tag you" in it and suddenly your entire FaceBook network is seeing that photo of you. This has happened to some friends of mine on FB, and I'm not very interested in it happening to me.

    3. j l t 75 months ago | reply

      Yelp is definitely part of the public - so many people use their real names there and it comes up in even a cursory search. And as long as people (why?) publish their last.fm most-listened-to RSS on their blog, there's more of an overlap with that between public/private than there is with the xbox circle.

    4. Typegirl 75 months ago | reply

      I had an old HS acquaintance tag me in a picture from our campaign for student body officers. Super embarrassing. I have no idea how many people saw it before I changed my picture preferences.

    5. Joe Pemberton 75 months ago | reply

      @jlt Good point about Yelp. It's definitely public, but it's also tends to be localized geographically.

      Others to add: Upcoming.org, Meetup.com, Delicious.com

    6. Seth Shaw 70 months ago | reply

      Have you read the latest issue of Wired with Bradd Pitt sporting a bluetooth headset on the front? In it they talk about modern tech manners, and adding coworkers on sites such as facebook is covered.

      I have a couple of friends who opt out of having a comment wall on facebook. I imagine because of the friend and professional networks mixing together.

    7. The Daring Librarian 63 months ago | reply

      this is just brilliant! I really expected to keep my FB just with fam & friends because i didn't want a pic of me sipping a glass of wine to get me fired - or my punk rock HS pics "out there"....then i had some really cool prof people "find me" on FB and ask to be my friends. i was flattered and i added them .....but now .....eeep! now i'm wondering!

      may i use this (with creds of course) for a keynote i'm giving next fall called "don't hate the hashtag?" thank you!

    8. Joe Pemberton 62 months ago | reply

      Yes, of course you may.

    9. lptflickr 61 months ago | reply

      Nice illustration. I shared it in a post about Facebook and its potential impact on job searches here: laurapthomas.x.iabc.com/2010/04/23/facebook-does-it-help-... Full credit to you and a link back to this page are included. Thanks for sharing via Creative Commons!

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