Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blending of professional and personal

A wedding day surreal moment was realizing people from all aspects of my life were in a room together - childhood friends, relatives, neighbors, work colleagues (current and past), college friends, former roommates, etc. And then the brief fear they might all start sharing "favorite stories."

Flash forward 20 years and there's now Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites. So my compartmentalized life becomes considerably less compartmentalized as I'm "found" -- and now once again people from various aspects of my life are starting to share a space together -- college friends, relatives, work colleagues (current and past), etc. Personal and professional are blending, whether intended or not.

Recent New York Times article focused on reality employees lose jobs over "unprofessional" behavior on social media sites - even if meant to be personal, even if off-hours. And question came up, what's off-hours?

If association members are encouraged to join you on social networking sites, and it happens to be where also linked to people in non-business life -- where's the distinction between what's professional and what's personal life?

Think of these potential interesting scenarios -
1. College friends commenting on association issues;
2. Members commenting on relative posting vacation pics;
3. Colleague sharing "funny stories" for all to view.

We want to grow our social media sites? Could be really interesting ... or not.

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