Twitter is my professional social network

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The other day a colleague tweeted me the following and it got me thinking (as most things do):

I think the end result is that it was being pointed out (nicely of course) that I am perhaps tweeting only work related things and not enough of other things – I guess being professional.

The fact is that I don’t really use twitter in any other way. It is my primary discovery platform for work, alongside my RSS reader and of course my face to face connections with colleagues and peers.

I don’t use twitter it in a personal context, I only use it in a professional context, by that I mean its purpose for me is in helping me discover content and connect to people who inspire, challenge and nudge my thinking around the things I work on and I’m professionally interested in – for me no other platform works in quite the same way…it simple works for me…maybe that says a lot about who I am and how I work…

For those who know me,  my professional approach is reasonably laid back, I like a bit of banter, I like to have fun but I also like working hard and getting things done – it is often accompanied by some thoughtful or random half-baked idea which mostly end up here as blog posts. I’d like to think that my approach to twitter is an extension to how I work – sometimes random, busy, but most of all connected.  (feel free to disagree, after all that is only my view of myself)

Now I’m not suggesting that I don’t agree when people blend their accounts as that is and has to be a personal choice…but for me it is something I have consciously done – I have separated my online social profiles on purpose and I feel better for it.

I made a decision quite a few years ago to move my personal (family and friends) commentary into Facebook and that has served me well and has allowed me to focus on what I want to get out of Facebook and twitter and who I should follow and be friends with. It helps me manage my privacy to a degree and some people who I’m connected with on twitter are also friends on Facebook but not everyone.

Some people are simply amazing colleagues and peers but simply not personal friends as I don’t get to know them in that context to allow them into my life where I share pictures of my kids and share stories around my family. That is what happens in facebook…I have a laugh in there to, share different things and rarely do I share the same thing in both platforms unless I see a benefit in it.

The other platform I use is google  – this is generally used across all the work (paid and voluntary) things I do – It basically holds the non sensitive work which requires collaboration of sharing wider. I also use hangouts and chat quite a bit but in much smaller groups.

I also use Linked-In, basically this is a secondary location I go for information…it takes me longer to get insights and value out of it but it often throws up some real gems but I feel I have to work at it more than I do with twitter – it also holds contacts information – one of the benefits I do get from it is that it allows me to stay up to date with a CV and stay on top of it as a living process..

So I come back to the tweet that a colleague sent me the other day…It is a rather honest assessment – I’ve favourited it as it is a piece of evidence that reminds me that I’m managing my privacy well. 🙂

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