Twitter, social media, and unmashing the mashable

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When I started doing Twitter, I put my Twitter feed on the sidebar of my blog. It seemed smart: more content means more traffic, and more traffic is good. But after two weeks of Twitter, I removed it. And then, when I was blogging about important topics like ditching Hebrew school as a career harbinger, commenters asked what happened to my Twitter feed.

Well, the Twitter feed is right here on Twitter. Just like my LinkedIn profile is on LinkedIn, and the potted plants I’ve collected on Facebook are on Facebook. Because mashing our social media together for the purpose of marketing one feed to another dilutes the value of social media. If you express yourself in the same way on a blog and on Twitter, then you don’t need both.

Each of us is multi-faceted. With a selection of media to choose from, we can express different parts of ourselves in different ways.

It’s clear to me that blogging is best for expressing big ideas. If you can’t convey new ideas on your blog, then you probably won’t get a lot of traffic. And most blogs that do well have a single theme and the audience can depend on the theme dictating the content of the blog. But Twitter is not good for fleshed-out ideas. I see people using Twitter for a lot of stuff, but not for fleshed-out ideas. And Flickr is good for expressing passion. Way better than, say, Twitter.

So it strikes me as really lame that we have such a wide range of media at our disposal yet people are using that range to convey the same aspect of themselves: the personal brand they are creating for social media.

Ironically, personal branding mostly rewards consistency, and using different media for different aspects of ourselves is not typically what builds brands. But none of us is so narrow to fit completely into the brand we present on a blog. There is more to each of us.

So I am playing with Twitter right now, seeing what part of me feels most natural to be in Twitter. This is the same thing we do as we make a new friend. We figure out what combination of the things that make up our personality will be best with this person. That’s why we’re a little different with each person we know.

As it turns out, Twitter feels very intimate to me. It’s a small burst, and small means intimate. It’s never a rant, because there’s not enough room, and it’s always immediate because—in keeping with Twitter conventions—it’s about “what I’m doing now.”

Mashing all social media together to create one image of ourselves doesn’t make sense because we are all already accustomed to showing certain parts of ourselves only in certain parts of our lives. We all know, for instance, that women don’t talk about blow jobs at work, even though they give plenty of them. And men don’t talk about the details of project management on a date, because they’d never get another blow job. It’s acceptable to have different places in your life for different aspects of your personality. So don’t flatten yourself by presenting only perfect consistency across Twitter and LinkedIn and blogs and Facebook.

Also, people who want to meet you in one format, won’t necessarily want to meet you in another, and that’s fine. Jason Warner, at Google, for example, explained that he doesn’t want to check out your MySpace photos before he hires you because it’s not the part of you he’s expecting to show up at work.

I actually already have experience switching media for different parts of me, and I’m telling you, it has served me well: I got into graduate school in Boston University based on my ability to write about sex. I spent my time in grad school writing hypertext fiction. I lectured at Brown University, I lectured at the Sorbonne, and I’m in Wikipedia for my sex writing — in hypertext. But when I had the opportunity to write career advice, I knew hypertext wasn’t the right format. So I started over, with a different way of thinking, in a different medium.

Sometimes I call this a braided career. Sometimes I call this bad branding. It’s a fine line. And some people will say that if you’re truly integrated, you will be your same self everywhere. I disagree. I think that the most socially adept people highlight the parts of themselves that will be most interesting to the people at hand.

So I am keeping Twitter separate. I want to play and explore and I don’t care about being consistent with my brand there. I want to show another part of myself on Twitter—a part that I wouldn’t necessarily show on the blog.

What is social media for, really? If traffic is your holy grail, then you need to point all your social media to one spot, in a sort of exercise in cross-pollination. If it’s not to build traffic, then it’s to build connections. And those connections can improve your life.

So give yourself permission to use social media to explore all the aspects of your personality, rather than just the one you picked for your “official personal brand”. It makes sense that you should give yourself some leeway to be inconsistent in who you are—and thereby consistent with who are completely are—in social media. Explore your full identity as you explore the media.

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  1. Angie
    Angie says:

    I really agree with your point here. Even before social media, when I was in high school, I always had a philosophy about behaving as each situation requires. I used to get some ribbing for this. People called me “chameleon” or even “two-faced.” But I maintained that it just made sense to behave differently in different situations with different people.

  2. Tiffany Monhollon
    Tiffany Monhollon says:

    I’m glad you posted this, and I hope it sparks some debate on the issue, because I think people need to be thinking about how to use social media for themselves and their goals rather than just taking the party line and running with it.

    For me, my measure is that I have different aspects of myself that I feel more fit different outlets I use. But I think where people get confused about this is that you are saying, “be different parts of yourself in different places,” but what they hear is, “be someone you are here, and someone you’re not there,” and that is definitely wrong.

    So I just make a concerted effort to be my true self wherever I am, because I know my mom or my boss or the teenage girl I mentor are all as equally able to see those different parts of me as are my peers, and people in my niche, or improtant people I want to impress.

    This isn’t as easy as it sounds, I’ve come to find. It’s really easy to lie online, to say you are one thing, or think one thing, or believe one thing, when it’s really another, but you know it will be more popular or effective to say the lie instead. Take Facebook for example. I think someone should do a study comparing people’s profiles on social media outlets against their true life reality. The “religious views” part of Facebook could be a whole study on its own.

  3. Tom
    Tom says:

    The problem I have with the stance underlying your proposal to share different aspects of yourself with different people is that it can be interpreted by some as inauthentic. I once took a seminar course with a guy who used to tell a sexually-loaded joke to every new person he met. Depending upon how they reacted, he then related to that person in either a ribald or prudish manner. I could never tell which persona was the “real” one. His social mechanism struck me as something primitive, like a bat’s echo location capability, that dictated all his social encounters.

    To me, consistency is what creates brand authenticity. People want to know what they can expect. The real challenge of Twitter is to compose a tweet that is artful but not artificial. If people are following you, an authentic sense of “you” is what they want.

    I know that as a member of Generation Jones, I rarely agree with your career advice but I almost always enjoy your brand of humor with a dollop of sex and the aura that you project of a life being invented on the fly with each passing day. Keep on sharing!

  4. Dale
    Dale says:

    But what if I want to know a person in as many contexts/circumstances as possible? True, this may border on obsession:) but it happens to be a real issue.
    An iconic brand is not always one-dimensional. True, there is always a dominant theme, characteristic, etc to that brand, but there are also subordinate characteristics that are evident. So too with people.

    If I want to talk big ideas, I should blog. But, what if my smaller ideas give support to the larger ones, or even a better understanding of who I am, what then? I do not think that linking the social medias should be taboo. In fact, I think that where a personal brand is concerned, one can only benefit by showing one’s many facets, one’s depth, and one’s frivolous nature. It is only then that true transparency is approached and a whole brand, or being can be understood.

    2cents worth:)

  5. JHP2
    JHP2 says:

    I was following this well until I got to “blow job”. Everything is fuzzy after that!

  6. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    I am so glad you wrote about this. I have a “branded” twitter feed is on my blog – and I have been wondering about fit as well. The way I ended up addressing this issue is to have a second twitter profile that isn’t linked to my blog or my “brand”.

    For now, I’ve decided that I don’t have enough readers to have much of a brand – so I’m approaching my BankerGirl twitter feed on my blog as an opportunity to show a different facet of my personality, but one that sorta fits with that content (most of the time).

    I completely agree that you can (and should!) show a different side of yourself in different media. I really like the Jason Warner reference.

  7. Heather
    Heather says:

    I think sharing different aspects of ourselves with different people is something we all do whether we want to admit it or not. I have a different level of comfort with each friend, relative and colleague and so therefore they see a different aspect of me. It’s not being ‘someone else’ or fake. It’s just that each person brings out a different nuance in our persona.

  8. Alice Bachini-Smith
    Alice Bachini-Smith says:

    Good stuff, I like this very much, thanks- I immediately realised my sidebar twitter feed is out of date, and took it off!

    An end to bland and boring self-“branding” which is actually the very opposite of memorable and distinctive, please!

  9. Bill
    Bill says:

    Your “hypertext fiction” looks suspiciously like randomly linked pages from your diary. If even 10% of that stuff is autobiographical, you were one warped chick. I bet they ate it up at the Sorbonne though.

  10. Michael Henreckson
    Michael Henreckson says:

    Twitter is quite literally small talk. Small is just about the only word for a 140 character post. It’s different from my blog because it’s an interactive conversation that isn’t just me writing a dozen paragraph and everybody else adding one in response. We’re interacting as equals, and we’re talking about whatever interests us, not just our areas of expertise.

  11. Dan Owen
    Dan Owen says:

    You’re truly too smart for your own good, P. (And the number of references to sex acts in your posts has gone way up since the separation — you need to get laid more.)

    Is personal branding really working for you? Did your husband fall out of love with you because he didn’t like your brand? Because you didn’t brand yourself well enough? Because you blogged about him, therefore enhancing your value as a brand but diminishing it as a wife and/or person? When you lied to the farmer about throwing out food (a hilarious part of that post, by the way — good for the brand!) you were clearly building the brand “Farmer’s Wife” but undermining the brand “Honest Person” — what happens if/when they intersect? My head is spinning. If personal branding “rewards consistency,” as you say, then at the very least I’d avoid lying to create a particular impression on a potential lover or boss or some other sap who doesn’t realize he’s having an encounter with something — a brand — being manufactured in front of his eyes.

    I hear you say that you’ve only benefited from switching media, but have you benefited exclusively from your style of blogging as well? One of the nice things to see in Emily Gould’s piece in the NYT Magazine was the fact that she’d actually paid a real price for hurting people through her blogging and Gawking and so forth. I’m curious: do you feel that you’ve suffered at all as a consequence of your branding efforts? Is blogging all good, as the kids say, or has it come with a price? I realize I’m using blogging and self-branding interchangeably here, but you get the idea.

  12. peterl
    peterl says:

    I love this idea. Penelope doesn’t know me at all, but when I read her blog, she is like a mentor with good professional advice. I follow her on Twitter, and I feel like she is a friend and we are hanging out at a bar. I like both relationships, but I definitely see the difference. In fact, I really like the difference. I like that we can have a serious conversation, and I like it that we can have a silly, candid conversation.

    For me, the duality of the relationship reinforces both aspects. Having gotten to know Penolope’s casual side in Twitter, I can see some of this casual personality peeking out of her professional persona. This makes me feel like I am sharing an inside joke. Having seen her professional side, her casual confessions are are made more interesting by the contrast.

    So some people are coworkers, some are friends, and some are both. Separating the relationships makes them all richer.

    * * * * * * *

    I really like this description of how my Twitter and blog relate to each other. I wish I had written it myself — it would have displayed such good self-knowledge.

    Thank you, Peter.


  13. Jason
    Jason says:

    Social media allows social capital (perceived value between humans) to be created in an efficient way and unique way. Sending and receiving twitter messages creates economic value for you and the recipients, otherwise people wouldn’t plug into the stream.

    What is most interesting about this post is that Twitter feels intimate to you (despite the fact that anyone can receive it). This is demonstrative of the value of social media: at the root level it makes people feel a certain way.

    The value created is and never will be the same for all connections, and it’s a mistake to try and use the same medium with a simple goal of ‘driving traffic’.

    It’s the same reason that although your boss might want to receive a happy birthday greeting from you, you likely wouldn’t stop by their house to personally deliver the message (but you might with a friend).

    The reach and efficiency of the Internet make the boundaries unclear and there aren’t societal paradigms developed yet for these forms of highly efficient communications. But there will be. This is why you have complete strangers trying to be your friend on LinkedIn and Facebook…oops, wrong approach to building social capital.

    It’s also the same reason you can haphazardly inject sexual innuendo into your blog.

  14. Milena
    Milena says:

    “It makes sense that you should give yourself some leeway to be inconsistent in who you are – and thereby consistent with who are completely are – in social media.”

    I love this. Blogging and social media has brought to light my inconsistencies. Most recently I’ve recently gotten an earful from readers, but that’s a good thing. It’s good to face a challenge, to be questioned, to change your mind. Where I am consistent is in returning to write more, explore, and change.

    Oddly enough, it was your blog that inspired me to start my blog. I first read your column on Yahoo!Finance because I liked some of the other finance writers and
    happened upon your blog. I never read blogs before that.

    I kept your post on easiest instructions for starting a blog as a favorite on my desktop for weeks,as I stumbled through starting a blog.

    Your instructions are simple, but for some reason I needed to re-read them almost daily just to make sure it was okay to post total nonsense. You assured me I would have no readers.

    I had no idea what to write about, what HTML, SEO, or RSS was, where you set up a blog, nothing. You said it didn’t matter, those are just excuses and roadblocks to keep you from letting yourself be vulnerable (my interpretation).

    You said post something, anything, until you are consistent, and once you are consistent, then worry about being good and finding a focus.

    I’m not sure I’ve found a focus, and I’m not sure I really care about that either. I have way too many interests to stay in one spot for long…and I guess that also ties into what you are saying w/ your Twitter experience – some things fit, some things don’t. Try them on for size and see what happens…

  15. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    “This is demonstrative of the value of social media: at the root level it makes people feel a certain way.”

    @Jason (as they say), what does that mean? Doesn’t most media make people feel a certain way? I don’t quite catch your drift. Don’t most THINGS that people interact with make them feel a certain way? I know you’re driving at something…but I think a stimulus/response/reward equation isn’t quite it?

    “The value created is and never will be the same for all connections, and it's a mistake to try and use the same medium with a simple goal of – €˜driving traffic'.” That’s interesting…to continue in the economics theme, Twitter currency is basically not going to pass muster for the purchase of blog goods (i.e., traffic).

    “The reach and efficiency of the Internet make the boundaries unclear and there aren't societal paradigms developed yet for these forms of highly efficient communications. But there will be. This is why you have complete strangers trying to be your friend on LinkedIn and Facebook – oops, wrong approach to building social capital.” I actually think that’s why the Internet is so successful. Its niches are built upon boundaries, even temporary ones. You know the “correct” way to interact on Facebook precisely because these societal cues are embedded in the networking structure. I might expand on that and say that it is maybe interacting and playing with these rules that plays a big part in enticing the “feelings” you speak of above. Boundaries are meant to be messed with, if only to reestablish them; stealing over the line, as Penelope does when she discusses sex, can serve to reinforce it (to borrow poorly from some author I’m having trouble remembering at the moment). Example: Penelope can tweet to the masses about a guy’s hand on her leg and it feels very intimate, but it’s clear that that level of intimacy from me is probably uncalled for, simply because I know how much that first message was disseminated. E.G., I’m not going to send her an e-mail about whose hand was on MY leg on my most recent flight home. Penelope can tweet about it though, because that’s in keeping with the rules of conducting oneself on Twitter, and I think they’re fairly apparent (as she pointed out herself above).

  16. Ari Herzog
    Ari Herzog says:

    Twitter. Heh. I signed up for the service about 18 months ago before it went vogue, didn’t like its features, and signed off. Maybe it’s become better, like wine, with age, but I don’t need it.

    I do have a Facebook profile which I check every day, though more to keep tabs on friends and see their potted plants. OK, I rarely look at their Facebook gardens.

    It’s funny how many of my friends have joined Facebook in the past 12-18 months, whereas I’d been on it for about 6-12 months longer than they. Many of my Facebook friends also have Myspace and LinkedIn profiles too, like me.

    There is a virus that all of my friends on one platform need to be my friends on others. This virus translates to your notion that one determines one’s social media based on a rule-less system but by a mantra of whatever works best.

  17. Luke Harvey-Palmer
    Luke Harvey-Palmer says:

    Nice – very valid points here. This is one of the more difficult challenges when using only social media channels to build your brand. You are right about blog v more personal mediums like Twitter – yet the great bloggers and brands like Gary V and Chris B and Darren R all have the same brand attributes consistent through their communication mediums – just the language is more relaxed or more informative. Definitely food for thought – I think if you have an authentic set of brand attributes, then they will shine through anyway and always…so no reader should be ‘put off’ by what they read from you anywhere!

  18. Jason
    Jason says:


    I guess what I meant to say was that social media has the capability to create intimate human connections on a micro scale. I think it’s rare for media to have that effect.

    I agree with your statement that it makes the Internet successful and interesting.

    It will be interesting to see how the various forms of social currency play out in terms of relative value (denominations) over time. I am of the mind that as people we have finite capacities for intimate relationships (closeness) but that some of these tools help us manage to that capacity more efficiently.


  19. fred wilson
    fred wilson says:

    i tried taking my twitter badge off of my blog but my mom pleaded with me to put it back. when i asked my readers what bling had to stay during a recent cleaning process, the flickr badge was the top request. so there are readers who want a taste of what you do elsewhere on your blog.

    * * * * * *

    Your mom is reading your blog? Makes me laugh. But I want you to know that I read it too — I’m a huge fan.


  20. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    @ Penelope:

    Good post.

    I have long kept my LinkedIn and Facebook profiles totally separate mainly because only a couple of people overlap between the two.

    That said, I do have links to my other blog, my book reviews and my reading lists on my most-often-fed blog. That is not so distracting because those who are keen on reading my MOF blog are not totally uninterested in Obesity and weight issues, which is my second blog.

    I think if the synergy benefits the brand, the mashup is justified. Else it is just narcissism – or excessive time to waste on-line – by any other name. ;-)

  21. Becky
    Becky says:

    Agreed. It occurs to me the social media crossover (twitter on blog, etc.) is overexposure – too much of a good thing is just TOO much. Not THAT many people want to know this much about a person unless they are stalking them which is just creepy.

    As an observer,not a participant, twitter seems like a good way to be in touch with close friends who know you well and would care about all the random thoughts. You need somewhere to be that person and it doesn’t belong in building your business – I don’t think there is any mystery to the concept that less is almost always, more.

  22. Dale
    Dale says:

    Which is the real me or you or anyone? And if we keep those facets of our personas separate, how do we know that others we want to engage will chance upon the one that most resonates with them or best represents us???

    Offer the buffet I think, and let the diner choose.

    2 cents worth:)

  23. Milena
    Milena says:

    “It will be interesting to see how the various forms of social currency play out in terms of relative value (denominations) over time. I am of the mind that as people we have finite capacities for intimate relationships (closeness) but that some of these tools help us manage to that capacity more efficiently.”


    Interesting concept, do you mean we have finite capacities with each person or total, regardless of the number of people?

    How do you think these tools help us manage our capacity more efficiently?

    I will admit that getting to know a commenter on my blog or on Twitter feels like closeness, as it’s often due to sharing a small detail of interest w/ someone. Conversely, when my closest friends and family read my blog, I often feel more distance with them as they usually don’t comment or engage with what I wrote (with the exception of my husband, since I’m usually already talking about what I blog about w/ him.) I guess what I’m saying is that for my already close relationships, online social media is less efficient. But perhaps w/ total strangers it allows you to make that micro-connection you mentioned, in a way you’d never have been able to had you not been posting away on the internet.

    Am I getting close to what you are talking about?

  24. Dan Schawbel
    Dan Schawbel says:

    Here is my latest thought:

    As technology rapidly changes and accelerates, your personal brand remains constant.

    By saying this, I mean that you are you who are despite the addition of new technology. The technology just let’s us convey our message quicker and more effectively to a larger audience (global).

  25. Norman
    Norman says:

    I’ve been trying to understand the value of Twitter. While I’m still not sure about it, I agree with your take on the difference what one posts to a blog and what posts onto Twitter. There are different expectations for different mediums already; differences between IMs and email; differences between emails and letters; blogs and emails, and blogs and Twitter. What I don’t get yet is the value of Twitter.

    * * * * * * *

    I have found with most new technology that I don’t understand the value to me until I try it. The value of any technology, really, is that it helps us lead a life that’s more authentic to who we are — expressing ourselves, connecting, organizing, etc. So it’s hard to know what we need sometimes ’til we try it.


  26. John L Feier
    John L Feier says:

    I’m pretty big on continuum. Back in marketing, they told us about the concept of “media richness.” The most media rich means of communication is face to face. This is best for topics such as a doctor telling a patient’s relative that their relative has just passed away. But sales people reserve face to face for convincing prospective clients to buy something because it helps to convey a sense of trust. There are other reasons for face to face communication, such as talking to a lover or teaching students. In other words, face to face is best for intimacy, trust or simply providing another means to learn something.

    We have cam with voice as the next best thing to face to face. Some guys pay ladies on cam sites for 5 minutes of intimacy with a total stranger on the other side of the planet. But this is also for helping business and government groups talk about issues that need as much clarification as possible.

    On down the continuum we go– or Yahoo chat, the telephone, and text only chatrooms.

    We then come to the area on the continuum where the range of media that Penelope was referring to in this post–blogs, twitter, Linked-In, Facebook (or MySpace) and in that order along the continuum of media richness. In other words, media richness has to do with how “far” you are from the participant or recipient. Even whether the other people are participants or recipients can help to determine at what point along the continuum the communication is.

    The topic of different methods of delivery for different kinds of messages plays well into the continuum because what makes a message different from other messages includes consideration of how much intimacy is needed, how complicated a topic is or whether you’re trying to convince.

  27. Kevin Cannella - OfficeArrow
    Kevin Cannella - OfficeArrow says:

    I agree about showing the part of you that is most interesting to a certain person. It makes for the most enjoyable experience for that person, and even yourself.

    I am not going to try and talk to my dad about the new Kanye album, but I will ask him about the Beatles and classic rock.

    I find it very admirable to be able to discuss many different topics/aspects of life and be able to hold a conversation about anything. Even if you are unfamiliar on the topic, you can be interested and curious, ask questions, and learn.

  28. fred wilson
    fred wilson says:

    @norman – full disclosure, i am an investor in twitter. but i invested because i love it so much and i know so many people who love it too.

    to “get” twitter, you need to follow interesting people and you need to post interesting things to twitter.

    try joining, following Penelope and me (fredwilson on twitter) and a few other bloggers you like to read.

    some of them will follow you back and then you’ll start to see conversations happen.

    that’s when the magic starts and the aha happens


  29. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    Thank you for this post. I was one of the commenters who asked what happened to your Twitter sidebar, and now I know! What you’re saying makes perfect sense, each of these social media is designed to be used differently, and for YOU that means for different parts of your life. I’m sure there are some people who will avidly read both your blog and tweets, but there are others who were a little put off by the personal nature of Twitter, so now you’ve set up a continuum where there’s something for everyone. I love that you’re so savvy about this stuff – I’m learning!

  30. Anna Michelle
    Anna Michelle says:

    I’m wondering…

    why can’t personal branding be something that happens organically? Naturally? Why this manipulation and never-ending perception management?

    Use each social medium how you want to in the moment you’re using it…shouldn’t this all be fun? It’s looking more and more like work if used this way.

  31. Mitch Wagner
    Mitch Wagner says:

    Penelope – I try to make my personal blog, my Facebook page, and my FriendFeed be gateways into *all* my activity on the Internet. My personal blog doesn’t have a Twitter badge on it currently, but that’s only because that activity is contained in FriendFeed — and I do have a FriendFeed badge on the personal blog. And I’m going to restore the Twitter badge soon because my wife asked for it back.

    However, my activity on InformationWeek is only a very narrow subset of my activity on the Internet. I don’t link to funny LOLcats from there, and I don’t post political tirades there either.

    I don’t think of this as presenting different parts of myself. I just think of it as some speech being appropriate in some places but not in others. When I’m writing for InformationWeek, I’m performing a service for our readers, just like a waiter performs service when he brings you your food. And you don’t want your waiter ranting at you politically or showing you LOLcats when he brings your omelet, you just want the damn food.

    (Well, ok, maybe you want the LOLcats. Because everybody loves LOLcats.)

    I do link to my FriendFeed and Twitter account from InformationWeek when I’m blogging about either of those services, so anyone who wants to find me on those other places can easily do so.

    You mentioned Flickr – do you have a Flickr account? What’s the account name?

  32. Milena
    Milena says:

    @ Anna Michelle – I’m so with you in your thoughts on branding.

    I think you get two choices if you are trying to create a “name” for yourself. Organic growth and hoping it catches on, which is more “you.” Or aggressive growth, which, unfortunately comes with adopting some formulaic approaches, ones that have a relative “guaranteed” return on investment so to speak. And I agree, it is work.

    As a singer, I think about formula musicians all the time. For example, why is Britney Spears more popular than Madeline Peyroux? If you are wondering who Ms. Peyroux is, this explains the phenomenon. Britney is wildly popular, perhaps to many people’s chagrin, but she’s following a tested formula, and it’s working. Ms. Peyroux is, in my opinion, is an incredibly more compelling performer and musician, follows her heart, and while she enjoys a certain level of fame, she’ll never reach Ms. Spear’s level, not that she’d want to.

    Would you agree with this assessment?

  33. Matt M
    Matt M says:

    Excellent post. I think you made a great distinction by explaining how each person is multifaceted and by talking about different things on different media someone is not being 2 faced they are just talking about different aspects of themselves.

    I do this all the time, especially when it comes to talking about sports with my friends and family. Some of my friends are football fans but not hockey fans so they don’t know anything about hockey and don’t really want to hear about it either. They might want to know that I am excited about hockey in general but they don’t really care about the specifics.

  34. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Great post. Honestly, I find that with so many social networking options, its easy to spread yourself too thin. At least for me anyway. I really only keep up with my blog and post on a few forums now.

  35. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    At what point do we reach overkill with social media? I like to think that because I only engage in a very selective mode of online social media it makes those aspects more valuable to me, or more intimate or something. Maybe if we have TOO much of ourselves, TOO much of our life online, becomes…promiscuous or something, a reader turn-off. Can we kill our credibility by too much social media expression?

    And then there’s the point where we’re doing nothing with our lives except social mediation, which is really nothing much at all. Not saying I haven’t killed two hours on myspace (where, if I recall, Penelope doesn’t have much presence at all). Sometimes I feel like I’m losing little parts of my soul to this hear online manifestation I’ve created, as much as I love it.

  36. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    wow. i read your hypertext a long time ago (nice btw), and have been reading this blog for awhile and i had no idea you were only one person.

  37. Tim
    Tim says:

    Right on, Andrea.

    I find the number of social media tools to be overwhelming, now. I used to have a Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and 3 blogs. Most of the time I posted the same things on all of them. Now I’m much more organized and simplified. Dump the myspace, and nobody should really need more than 2 blogs.

  38. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    @ Brand Fanatic:

    Unless you meant that question ironically, actually a few million do :-)

    Much hiring that goes on, through LinkedIn. Several alumni groups and special interest groups are active on LI. The Q&A feature is very useful and I know of at least one futures firm that does a lot of its research on LI.

    So yes, very much a functioning and functional group.

  39. Chris
    Chris says:

    Uh, I’m in college and I’m already sick of the whole social media mumbo jumbo. Get out and go into the world already.

  40. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    I’m so glad that I read this article today. I actually just joined Twitter today. When I first learned about it, I thought it was a pretty useless service, but I joined because I have been reading a lot of bloggers who had a change of heart once they tried it.

    I was having the same debate about including the Twitter feed in my blog but decided against it for the same reason that I keep Facebook separate from LinkedIn. I use Facebook to keep up with my friends and Twitter is another creative outlet to do just that. Thanks again writing what I was thinking and saying those ideas even better that I could have put into words!

  41. Steve Ellwood
    Steve Ellwood says:

    I asked here about how folk used social media. I think this is the best answer I’ve seen, and it encourages me to think about taking twitter out of some of my blogs – and to persist with breaking links between places. OK, I do still post blog posts on twitter.

    But not from all of them!

  42. Temi
    Temi says:

    Nice post! Twitter is a communication medium by default, all your ‘tweets’ are public, but you can hide them if you wish. I use it all the time, and I use the fantastic desktop client Twhirl to keep mine up to date.
    When utilised correctly, and once you have a following, it can work very well.

  43. Frugal Babe
    Frugal Babe says:

    I’ve been blogging for a couple years, but just got into twitter a few days ago. I can already feel a big difference in how I write on each of them. When I reply to someone on twitter it feels a lot more personal than it does when I’m responding to comments on my blog – maybe the immediate nature of it… and it’s been fun to follow people whose blogs I’ve been reading for years, because people absolutely present different parts of themselves on a medium like twitter versus a blog.

  44. InnovativeEdu
    InnovativeEdu says:

    Penelope, you may be right. You may be wrong. I’m not sure. However, I don’t think the answer lies within you. Isn’t the value of these web 2.0 tools the ability to ask readers what they think??? Why don’t you do a Twitter Poll and make your decision based on what your audience wants???? However, to be fair, Twitter would likely have to run on your blog for some time first. Do a poll now where only those who follow your Tweets reply, and then one later after you’ve had it back on your blog. Then make a decision.

    Lisa Nielsen

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