When you are out in the ‘real world’, talking to someone face to face, it is relatively easy to gauge how you should behave in the situation you find yourself in (at least it is for most of us). Its very likely that we would behave differently in different situations, such as having beer and pizza with a group of close friends, attending a business networking event, or at a formal dinner. It’s possible that you could find yourself with some of the same people at these different events, but would the tone of the conversation be the same? I doubt it.
I do believe that we should be honest in our dealings with people (be yourself, in other words), but I also believe in the importance of self-censoring, ensuring your behaviour and language is appropriate for the circumstances.
Shouldn’t it be the same with social media?
I use LinkedIn and Twitter a lot; both are ‘social media’ but they are very different. I’m used to people posting updates on twitter as much as 20 times a day, and that is fine. I like to hear about their day (sometimes!), and I am interested in the links they share. I learn a lot about a wide range of topics, from education to politics, to technology and even a bit of gossip. Twitter is a club with many rooms, and I choose which ones to visit using tools like Tweetdeck. But with LinkedIn, I’m always in business mode, and I want to see just a few, highly relevant work related updates.
And yet some people use these spaces indiscriminately, and every thought they think or link they want to share gets posted automatically on both networks. Well, as far as I am concerned, linking your LinkedIn updates to your Twitter feed is lazy and results in far ‘Too Much Information’, that overwhelms my LI home page and blocks the information that I really want to see there.
It seems I’m not alone in being annoyed by this, in fact I have yet to find anyone that likes the constant stream of twitter updates that some people post on LI. Frustrated by yet another day of excessive postings, I posted this on LI “LinkedIn is NOT the same as twitter. Please, please, please disconnect your twitter posts from LI!” I was overwhelmed with responses, all strongly in agreement. A few people pointed out the benefits of cross posting in reaching a wider audience, but they emphasised the importance of relevance, and of not taking an undiscriminating approach. Some people are saying that they are starting to ‘unfriend’ people that persist in these activities, whilst others are hiding* updates from certain individuals. Is this what you want to happen to you? There must be a better way of sharing. If you come across an interesting article on Twitter that you want to share on LinkedIn, why not share it in a relevant LI group? It takes a little more effort, but it reaches a much more targeted audience. That’s surely better than losing the attention of valuable contacts through overzealous sharing?
What do you think?
*Here’s a useful tip to get rid of the chatterboxes from your LI home page. You can simply hide their updates, by hovering over their update and clicking on the ‘hide’ link that appears in the right hand corner of their update (look closely, its grey and not easy to see).