Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Identity Maintenance

The online world is really converging. I hate to get all buzzwordy but the old rules of the web are fading and new ones are really taking hold. When people who make way more money than I do at work are using Twitter to update their blogs, for example, I know things are changing.

It leads to some interesting situations, though. This blog is my little quiet corner of the 'net, and as such is part of my personal identity. But it's not part of my professional identity. But as these identities spread, it becomes more difficult to keep them separate.

My professional identity includes LinkedIn, Facebook, and a behind-the-firewall blog at our corporate social media site. It's all tied to my full name.

My personal identity includes a blog, a domain name, a Picasa web folder, an RSS feed, my netflix queue, numerous online site memberships, and who knows what else. It's all tied to one of three nicknames: the name of this blog, my usual forum handle, and my real first name.

Some people straddle both spheres. I have good friends that I trust with both identities. Some family. But there aren't many of them. (It's actually more complex than this --there are people who get "some" of the picture but not all, family members who browse my photos but would have no idea how to find this blog, for example.)

Someone with a little spare energy could connect all these dots, I'm sure. At some point, it will be more work to keep these identities separate than it's worth. But do I really want my boss poking around my blog? If I were to go job-hunting (note to my boss, I am not job hunting :P), do I want my hiring manager paging through my vacation photos or reading about my struggles with my fitness goals?

It may well be that my only other option will be to let one identify disappear. And that just seems so boring....

1 comment:

Tea said...

Hey Dave! Sorry I haven't stopped by much, but I hope all is well.

And btw---I agree, I wouldn't want anyone from work reading it.