Multiple identities in social media


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Do you have more than one social media account? Karen McAulay discusses the pros and cons of multiple accounts - and the importance of professionalism

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Multiple identities in social media

  1. 1. Musings by Karen McAulay
  2. 2.  Problem: Do you tweet with differentidentities for different roles, or do you haveone multi-purpose persona? For long enough, I was @Karenmca onTwitter, and my personal self on Facebook fora few family members and friends. Then I started a Twitter account for thelibrary – and then we started one for ourresearch project.
  3. 3.  What about Twitter accounts for an online or“real life” special interest group? SUDDENLY you‟re signing in/out of accountslike a travelling salesman at Travelodge!
  4. 4.  3 working days as a music librarian 2 working days as a postdoc researcher Church organist A head full of 18th/19th century cultural history And Testosterone Towers at home!
  5. 5.  True, I have a busy life! But don‟t look at the activities – just theintersections When I use social media I can be in one zoneor straddling two (or more) Librarian and researcher Parent and musician Musician and librarian Practitioner and theorist
  6. 6.  At a plenary, we were discussing training forgood customer service. Afterwards, I wanted to tweet about it. But – which „hat‟ would I wear?Image: New Bedford Whaling NationalHistorical Park, with thanks
  7. 7.  Library : What‟s good customer service?(question for library staff or library users) Staff Training Plenary : Staff development Researcher: “Good customer service means…” Myself: “Being given good service in anysituation”
  8. 8.  Multiple identities – mean questions can betargeted I can ask “What‟s good customer service?” andmy audience will understand the context I convey a better sense of my professionalpriorities to others in the same field I can discuss things at an appropriate level But I may miss valuable input from people whofollow me in different capacities And I have to remember “who” I am at any time!
  9. 9.  The biggest disadvantage of multipleidentities:– Will my followers know that @Karenmca isalso@WhittakerLib, @SALCTG, @LISresearchsuppand co-tweeter on a music research project? Mostly, it‟s straightforward, but sometimesit‟s blurred.
  10. 10.  Multiple identities, blurred, or one? At the end of the day, every individual is oneperson with a variety of roles Strict separation of roles is, in myopinion, almost impossible. I prefer the middleground.
  11. 11.  Predominantly using one account means youestablish your own „brand‟ A snapshot survey ofhttp://Whittakerlive.blogspot.comdemonstrated that followers liked the blog‟spersonality/character The same applies to your ownTwitter/Facebook postings Doesn‟t preclude using other accounts inspecific contexts, eg the shared researchaccount on a very precise subject.
  12. 12.  Blogs for different purposes (you can alwaysmake links overt where there‟s crossover) Keep one platform purely personal Have one „main‟ Twitter account and othersfor specific purposes Professionalism – nothing embarrassinglypersonal goes anywhere but your chosen„family and friends‟ account Discretion – nothing compromising goesonline at all!
  13. 13. Notes –
  14. 14.  Did this presentation strike a chord? Tweet me @Karenmca Thank you.