I guess all of us who use social media tools and web applications are to a degree living a public life. After all, that is the purpose, isn’t it – to raise our profiles for marketing purposes? Well, OK, it’s fun too.
Some live more public lives than others of course. They report where they are through foursquare, so we know where they are having lunch, whether posh or fast-food and perhaps they tell us every thought they have chattering on Facebook.
I have a foursquare account although I have done nothing with it. I can’t quite make my mind up about it.
Concerning Facebook, it is my choice not to “let it all hang out”. I do make social comments on my Wall and on other people’s Walls, and if you are my Facebook Friend you could probably get a general idea of my tastes, preferences and interests, without knowing a great deal about my day-to-day life. That is the way I want it.
I don’t think we need to post only business though, on Facebook, FriendFeed or Twitter. I think that we can show something of ourselves through these media, so I am quite happy to pass the time of day on Twitter. I might recommend our local baker or even admit to having a curry. As long as someone does not share the details of every meal, I am quite happy to read about their preparation of Moroccan Lamb, whether they are having a beer with it, or a glass of wine. In fact I might be interested if they can recommend their wine.
You see, I think that having a general rounded idea of someone’s lifestyle and character without the nitty-gritty detail helps build the relationship and therefore the trust, and that is what networking is about, whether on-line or off-line. I don’t need chapter-and-verse of the social life or home life of my business connections, but knowing a certain amount about their tastes helps me to see some of them as business friends, by which I mean people with whom I might do business.
What do you think?