Managing social media and multiple personalities
Problogger's 'social media love-in' has me thinking once again about what exactly I'm doing with all this social media stuff. I have a Twitter account, and I'm on del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Facebook but I'm not very active on any of them. This is partly because I don't know very many other people who are actively using any of these sites, other than a couple who use Facebook a lot (among my friends, I'm definitely an early adopter). I also worry about what a huge time suck it could become if I actually started spending time finding new people to interact with. But mostly, I think it's that I'm simply not sure how to use these sites effectively to engage with people. That is, I just don't really get it - how does sharing my bookmarks or 160-character blurbs lead to real connection? In contrast, one of the things I love about blogging is that I feel like I can have conversations with people.
Still, I went ahead and added my info to Problogger's love-in*, figuring that maybe if I got to know more people who are on these sites, I could figure out what the appeal is and how to use social media more effectively. At the very least, I figured maybe I could get people to visit my blogs, which I feed through Twitter. But that raised a separate issue for me that I've been struggling with as a blogger: how to manage my different 'identities'. I have two blogs, one closely related to my job as an economics professor where I write about teaching and economics, and one that is more of a personal blog but with a definite focus on my life as a happily single woman. When I comment on other peoples' blogs, I identify myself with whichever blog fits the context. There isn't much overlap in the audiences for the two blogs and I actually have them set up under two different usernames, because I don't necessarily want my students to be reading my personal blog (I don't think it's a huge issue if they find it, I just don't really want to make it particularly obvious or easy for them).
But on my social media accounts, everything is jumbled together. My Twitter followers see my feeds from both blogs, my Facebook profile (which is the one account where I actually connect with my 'real world' friends) has a bunch of stuff that I don't necessarily want random other people seeing, and my del.icio.us account has all my bookmarks. Maybe it isn't that big an issue because people will use tags to find what they want and/or just skip over all the stuff that they find irrevelant. But does anyone else have concerns about keeping certain aspects of their lives separate, even if those different aspects are all out in the Web somewhere? Any advice for a social media newbie?
* by the way, I don't make money off my blogging, I just really like reading Problogger for ideas about being a better blogger in general