A modern dilemma for people who have interests other than their work; linking all your social media so you can update everything from anywhere, but your updates can have different effects on the different networks you’re in. For an example of this we have to look no further than, well, ‘me’ actually.
Me. The artist.
I happen to be quite good as a communication professional, which -to some- may appear to be a bit arrogant to state out loud. It is, however, a fact. I have no trouble at all in developing creative, innovative and effective campaigns. I am not as succesful as an artist. Art is difficult. I try to paint to the best of my abilities, put a lot of effort into photography, filming, drawing and so on… However, it is safe to say that when it comes to ‘the arts’, my career is not slow, it is virtually non-existent. At the same time, I feel like an artist first and a marketing and communication guru, second (actually, I feel like a ‘dad’ first, but that’s beside the point). Luckily, I do not work in a commercial company but at an NGO, but still… the two worlds are sort of apart. Which means I sort of have two different working identities.
Someone will always be confused
In both lines of work I meet complete assholes, but I also meet nice people with whom I have problem connecting with through my social networks, should they request to do so. Unless you’re James Bond there is no need for more than one profile on any networking site so everyone is inivited to connect to the same Fisserman. And all accounts, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, Twitpic et cetera are in the name of Fisserman. I am now noticing that this confuses people. My artistic contacts on a regular basis wonder why I would tweet about a French Aids campaign or how ‘my chatbot is better than Google’, while my business contacts of that paying job are confused about some of my more abstract and artistic blogging which is publicized through Twitter automatically and then posted on my LinkedIn profile (And no one understands my Last.fm playlist anymore, which -again- is an entirely different story).
Just don’t care
There are several answers to solving this small problem. Just unlink some of those sites is one of them. Have two very separate identities is another. But the easiest answer is: just don’t care. Just do you thing, write your stuff, upload your photos and don’t pretend to be someone who you are not. I chose that option. But somehow, people take you a little bit less seriously. There is doubt about how dedicated I am my paying job (which I am) or how serious I am about my art (any job other than waiting tables is suspect). This can sometimes be a bit annoying and on ever fewer occasions can mean you actually miss opportunities, for example” getting turned down for exhibitions or job-offers
Tweet to impress.
But this is not just about me. I know of quite a lot of people who face this reality in different ways, especially in work-related situations. A tweet gets picked up by a colleague and on monday morning you get a comment about it by your boss. Or a client asks about that YouTube clip that features you having fun when you could also have been working on his/her account. Stating that et least you’re not embarrassed about your life is not always the best way to go. It can be really difficult ‘not to care’ sometimes. And as long as what you’re doing is not illegal or in poor taste, who wants to pay constant attention to what you publish, upload or blog all the time? My personal judgement rule is; as long as mom can read it… it’s a go on the publish button.