Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tweeting to professional success?

Where does Twitter live for you in the professional networking world? What role does it serve? Quick personal daily updates, provocative thoughts, stream of consciousness, developing a fan club, sharing interesting items, self promotion? Is Twitter about putting ideas out there with the goal of creating interaction and dialogue and positoining yourself in the world of the web, or is it about voyerism and narcisism? Which leads me to wonder, in what professional network is it deemed truly acceptable to promote yourself in a direct, shameless way. Is there a channel for this? Where will this ultimately aggregate?

Yes, people have made connections through Twitter that have led them to find a job. Yes, people have developed contacts through Twitter that have helped them build their business. But it all feels a little random still in terms of where this channel lives in the networking ecosystem online. If Facebook is for personal use and LinkedIN is for professional networking and updates then Twitter is still a relative novelty in its model alone I think. People are addicted to the public, 'levelled' access to all Twitter enthusiasts-- celebrity and anybody. You can find them all there.

We need to give some concentrated thought to our online profile in its aggregate and the overall message we are sending out to the world about who we are, how we think and what we do. And, in some instances... why they should care. If we leave it up to the collective digital thumbprint we may find out that people are getting the wrong impression. We need to do the work to stage, protect and control (to a certain extent) our professional profile and then manage it diligently.

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