Social media buzz is all around. If you haven’t read about social media recently it means you pretty much haven’t read anything. To some point I tried to avoid the subject – it’s been beaten to death already. Actually when I touched the subject it was rather skeptical approach to social media in project management.
Yes, I use a number of social media applications. Actually more than I thought since the list is extensive. Blogging platforms, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Picasa and recently Google Buzz to name only the most significant ones.
Now, I could easily group them into two groups. Blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn would go into professional-related group while Facebook, Picasa and Buzz to private-related group. Why line of demarcation goes like that? Because of people I’m connected with in each of applications.
I don’t blog about my tortoise or my coin collection or movies I’ve seen recently. Software Project Management which you read at the moment is about, well, software project management. Not about tortoises or movies. I guess no one comes here to read what I think about District 9 or what kind of lettuce Pepe likes most. I keep the blog professional the same as I keep blog-related tools like Twitter.
When we are at Twitter – do you, dear reader, care what have I eaten for breakfast? I didn’t think so. And you know what? I don’t care what you have eaten for breakfast either. If you keep writing about this shit all over again on your Twitter I’m going to unfollow you very soon. I keep the tool professional and the same I expect from my network. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say people shouldn’t twit how many beers they had yesterday or how much they’re enjoying their coffee or whatever. I just say they shouldn’t mix this with some software development related or project management related links. I’m there either to hear about beer or to find some worthy news. Never for both.
To give you an example I eager to read every post or twit posted by Scott Berkun but I don’t give a damn whether he enjoyed his dinner or not. And I’m glad Scott doesn’t share this stuff.
That’s where private-related social media apps kick in. Majority of people in my Facebook network are my friends. There are only a few people who I don’t know in person. So yeah, that’s the place to put tortoise picture as my avatar or mention a great steak I cooked recently since my friends aren’t much into all this project management crap.
The same is with Buzz where most people on my contact list are my friends. The same is with Picasa where I share only private photos. Oh, some of them make their way into the blog so if you think pictures here are crappy now you know who should be blamed.
Looks like it is all set up and working. Where’s the problem then?
My Problem with Social Media
I know only a few of my friends who live in both of these worlds – those of them who work in the same industry. The rest comes to hear either about software project management or about my private life. If they find too much of something else it tires them, which reminds me how I hate you twitting about your meals.
The problem is these networks interfere with each other. I already have some of my “professional” contacts in Facebook network and even more of them made it into my Buzz network. This is an issue since I’ll think twice whether I should share a link my friends would consider funny but might offend a couple of people from my professional network.
What I actually need are separate accounts: one for each of my worlds. The same as I have two email addresses one at the company I work for and another one to contact my friends. The problem is I’m not going to deal with the hassle of maintaining two accounts in each social media application. I’m not going to explain to you which account is right for us to connect either.
The other option is to draw clear line between both worlds and purge a few of my networks. And this is the one I incline towards at the moment.
Do you have similar problems with social media? How do you deal with them?