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Mixing business and pleasure

November 13, 2009 | Written by

I have to admit, I was fairly surprised when I started my new job and a member of my team already knew what I’d been up to the previous weekend.  I had underestimated my online visibility, as do a lot of people, and could have jeopardised my job before I’d even started.  Luckily I lead a quiet life so no damage done…

The online distinctions between business and pleasure, once so definite, now seem to be blurring. With the announcement of a partnership between LinkedIn and Twitter, allowing users to share status updates across sites, the gap between individual social networks, and indeed our online personas, is being bridged.   

Even Google is getting in on the act, announcing deals with Facebook and Twitter to include their live feeds into searches.  I googled myself and although I’m quite far down the list (I’m not as popular as the other Laura Strong from London) I’m definitely on there.

I’m sure many of you will have heard the story of an employee ranting about her boss on Facebook, only to be publicly humiliated and sacked on their own news feed.  The Guardian has devised three rules to avoid social media catastrophes as ‘behaviour is very important in public and we all live public lives now’:

  • Don’t be rude or abusive about people, projects or a company.
  • Don’t post rumours or revelations – Twitter never forgets.
  • Think before you type – some things are better left private.

So what do you think?  Do you think the two should be kept separate?  Can they be kept separate or should we be more aware of how we are perceived online?

My tip: do as your mother says and mind your P’s and Q’s…

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Comments (3)

November 13th, 2009 at 4:33 pm Posted by Christa

That story about a girl being fired via Nwsfeed is horrifying. As a recent college grad and newly hired Communications Assistant at a non-profit, I carefully inspect my [personal] use of social media. God forbid if I say anything that could jeopardize my employment…I’ve already been so lucky to get a job so fast out of college and in this economy!

An increased use of social media is great in some aspects, but I feel that the lines are blurring a little too much. Personally, I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all for distinctly different audiences. I don’t feel that a status update for one would necessarily be appropriate or relevant for another, so I will not be participating in those partnerships. Great, thoughtful blog post!


November 13th, 2009 at 10:58 pm Posted by Blah, blah, blah « Momma Says I Talk Too Much

[...] food for thought: Ruder Finn UK’s Laura Strong wrote a post regarding social networking and partnerships between those sites, most recently LinkedIn and [...]


November 17th, 2009 at 9:01 am Posted by Hugh McKinney

It’s the old saying – never publish online anything you are not prepared to see in a newspaper – you never know.


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