So, today I presented my “Collaborating In The Cloud” session at LITA. It went well – lots of questions about a number of different things, but, as always it seems, a lot of the discussion was happening on Twitter. One of the things that came up, both as an in-person question and as a Twitter topic, was the separation of work and personal in social networks. I mentioned in my presentation that I got a lot of pushback when I asked, back in my researching for the LTR days, about people using Facebook for work purposes. Many respondents said that Facebook was for fun and that they weren’t going to use it for work. Period.
That started a discussion about separating the work part of what you do on Facebook from the personal stuff. Groups are always an option, but one of the Tweeters, Maureen Kearny (mosylu) expressed a concern about leakage from your professional groups to your personal groups. I have to agree that it is something to be concerned about.
Creating groups in Facebook is pretty easy, but not particularly intuitive. The steps are:
- Hover over the “Friends” link toward the left top side of the page
- Click on All Friends
- Click “Create new list”
- Type in the name of your list and select people to add to it; click Create List
- Hover over the “Settings” link at the top right of your Facebook page
- Click on “Privacy Settings” after it drops down
- Click “Profile”
- Click drop-down list on each section listed on the page – all (except the general “Profile”) allow you to make things visible to all of your friends *except* whoever is in one of your lists
- Rinse, lather, repeat until you have locked down your profile
- Go To Applications Settings (also off of the Settings link at top right)
- Edit any work-related apps to be visible only to work-related lists
This requires some thought, perhaps a bit of pre-planning (who goes into what list?) and some time to do right, but it is not too complicated to make it happen. It is also the only really legal way to do it – Facebook frowns on people who create personal and professional accounts… Of course, now that LinkedIn offers applications such as the Huddle Workspace app, maybe using that instead of Facebook would be better for you.
While Facebook is huge, and everyone (it seems) has an account, it’s not the only game out there. It may be the easiest in terms of learning curves (as in, people have already climbed that particular curve, not that it doesn’t exist) and passwords (oh no – not ANOTHER site that I have to maintain a user/pass combination for…), but if you are concerned about mingling your personal and your professional, learning a new application and keeping track of yet another password may be worth it to you. This is one of the benefits of choosing cloud collaboration – you have options!!