We all know someone who shares too much–that girl who tells the whole office about her bad breakup or the guy who insists on going into gory detail about his latest extreme exploits. But most of us know when to draw the line when it comes to lunchtime discussions at the office, chats around the water cooler or meetings with management. It’s a lesson most people learned way back in the days of bologna and bag lunches: different people merit different kinds of discussions. You wouldn’t tell the playground bully the same deep dark secrets you’d spill to your best friend, and you definitely wouldn’t let the teacher in on the stuff you were passing notes about during class. From our first experiences with socialization, we’ve been conditioned to understand the unspoken societal rules that dictate what’s appropriate to share, when it’s appropriate to share it and who it’s appropriate to share it with.
But, social media is a whole different ballgame, especially now. At first, it was easy to know when to share what on the web. Your facebook friends often mirrored your real world friends, and it was easy to insure that the things you shared with those friends didn’t also get broadcast to your boss, your parents and your future potential employers. Now, with cracks beginning to show in the walls around Facebook’s garden, and the burgeoning open web movement connecting your tweets with your status updates, your blips with your blog, it’s become a lot harder to ensure that what you say on the web stays between friends.
So, how do you protect your professional brand while still staying true to your personal identity? How do you maintain a presence on the social web that complements your career goals instead of impeding them? How do you balance a personal web brand with a professional one? These are just a few of the questions we’re just beginning to grapple with as girls in tech–and as the tech industry as a whole. Lately, it seems like every blogger and big name pundit is issuing their own treatise on the topic, and a google search for ‘tech etiquette’ returns over 6 million results, with articles from big names like CNN and Forbes just to name a few.
Clearly, this is one discussion where everyone has an opinion. So, how do you synthesize all of those opinions into a strategy–not just for your company but for yourself? How do you balance the demands of constant connectivity and personal and professional courtesy? And how do you figure out what the right answer is for you? Those are tricky questions, but they are quickly proving to be key components in determining the best social media strategy for yourself and for your brand.
Fortunately, you don’t have to grapple with these issues alone. Since this is a topic on everyone’s minds at the moment, Girls in Tech LA is hosting a discussion about all of these issues and more on September 28th. The event, called “Tech Etiquette-How Much Can you Say Online and Not Tarnish Your Brand” will feature a discussion by the following guest speakers:
*Marsha Collier: Author, Ebay for Dummies
*Lynn Langit: West Coast Evangelist, Microsoft
*Brette Borow: Founder, GirlsGuideTo.com
When: September 28th 7 â 9:30PM
Where: Fox Audience Network
2500 Broadway, 2nd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Hope to see everyone there!