You could consider this post as an addendum to “To Tweet or Not to Tweet” but it is the result of a botched online makeover that I attempted recently and some spontaneous reaction to it.
Circa 2005 – Google vanity, ahem, (googling oneself) was a random act I did as a journalist. Seeing my content appear on web pages other than the publication I worked for gave tremendous satisfaction ‘coz it meant that content I had put up made sense to a few people, who also saw enough value to post it on their sites. Of course, most times these were companies or people on whom I had based my stories, but at times, these were people/corporates that used my stories to sell their product/services/ideas/arguments.
2009 – Away from the select band of people for whom pen was mightier than money or God I was still curious to see if there were traces of me on the world’s web. There wasn’t. Deflated I was. Where were all the stories I wrote and the interviews I conducted, the trend analysis and the catchy interviews?
2010 – Then came Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and of course, my favourite – blogs. While I have been blogging off and on, ghetu inspired me to come back full flow. Now in the midst of all this, I went back to do a vanity google.
And guess what. Twitter has brought me back virtually. What it directly meant was the net is truly a web, where you can always get caught and worse any info uploaded was there for all to howl about.
– > Anytime you post a comment or tweet, remember your HR may trace you or that ex-colleague who zealously tracks your every move, or that creditor to whom you owed a few thousands or an ex-whoever you are trying to hide from.
– > Don’t post, tweet or comment on anything that you regret later including offensive comment trails replete with F words and B words
– > Most HR these days routinely scan FB and Linkedin to see how potential employees have been behaving, albeit online. Yes, this practice has become very prevalent in Indian HR also. So exercise caution
– >If you are employed with a company and plan to put in your papers but haven’t announced it officially, be wary of even veiled comments or a sudden spurt in your linkedin activity like asking present colleagues to connect or ex-colleagues to recommend
– > While on Linkedin, do not ADD or ASK colleagues or acquaintances with whom you share a tepid rapport or even something that borders on the negative, to your network. That can do you more harm than you realize. Linkedin warns of this quite often
– > Even more on Linkedin, it has a great option of deleting comments by you or someone on you (if they are within your network) but try not to use it too often, when a little caution would never have got you to that stage
– > If you plan to link your Linkedin and Twitter profile be careful of what you tweet. Looney comments about that great party you attended or that hot guy/gal you dated or that ridiculous place with the pathetic service may make you look hep but doesn’t bode too well with most HR personnel, who are still jurassic in this aspect
– > Not a good idea again to link FB and Linkedin. Remember the two are for different purposes, unless you have a professional page or persona on FB, which I doubt most of us do. FB after all is a social networking site while Linkedin is for you to network professionally. A friend of mine very wisely asked, “Now why would I want my boss on my Facebook page?, “ after she was routinely bombarded with requests to accept a Friend invitation. Ahem, remember FB has something called an Ignore option
– > Again, the same works with Linkedin, you have an option to ignore a contact with whom you DO NOT want on your list of connections. Exercise care, while clicking on the button because Linkedin at times can fool you and present only the Accept or Reply options.
– > If you do not want to be traced do not check the option for ‘let your contacts find you by email address’ and ‘let XX help you import contacts through your address book.’
LET ME KNOW about other wise choices one can make while Socializing personally and professionally to maintain discretion and avoid hara kiri!!
Meanwhile, here is an interesting read from the WSJ