I blog and I twitter. It might seem to some like I'm sharing everything and totally out there, but I'm not. For example, you don't know who I'm dating. That's mostly to protect the innocent, but also because it doesn't involve you. Plus, I believe, unlike some people, that certain personal things don't need to be shared, lest we all appear like train wrecks to the world. We all know that there are many moments in our private lives that are momentarily or multi-momentarily train-wrecky that don't impact our ability to just get stuff done.
However, everyone's line is different, and so is how we manage ourselves between those lines. Take Facebook, for example. I think it's bizarre that people I only know professionally want to be Facebook friends with me. I deny them not for any other reason than it makes my own experience of Facebook noisy. Just because we met at a business development meeting doesn't mean I need to see the photos you uploaded of your kids, or when you add a Little Green Patch.
What this means is that I don't wield the same size sphere of influence as someone like Jason Calacanis, but you know what? I don't want to. To me, there's something to be said for authenticity. I may have 950 LinkedIn contacts, but I actually know them. And my Facebook friends? They're actually friends, for the most part. Yet, I'm still, in my opinion, able to maintain a very extensive and very fruitful online presence.
Certainly people have different approaches and that's what I'd like to explore at my SXSW talk with Alana Taylor. Alana is an NYU student who is a great social networker, but in my opinion, also stays on the right side of the authenticity balance. I'm sure she'll have a lot to say as a college student about her professional world colliding with her personal digital spaces.
So if you'd like to join us in exploring "Blurry Networks: Friends, Contacts, Followers and Professional Me", please vote for our panel. Thanks!