As I continue to think intentionally about my web presence, I have been considering the issue of what to publish where. There are a number of issues that coalesce in this question: privacy, building community, over-exposure, fragmentation, etc.
Over the past month, I have developed a more variegated approach to my web presence. In so doing, I have started relying more heavily on three posterous.com accounts: The Long View, which relates to my most public self, Associate Dean Long's Perspective, which relates to my daily activities as Associate Dean, and Life with Chloe and Hannah, which is a private, password protected space in which I have been chronicling daily activities with my daughters.
The Long View and Dean Long's Perspective both feed to my two twitter accounts, cplong and LAUSDeanLong, although there are ways to specify that a specific post on posterous goes only to one or the other of the twitter accounts. As I think about controlling where my content is fed, I am increasingly aware of the power of social media and of the need to think strategically about what is published where.
I suppose this is really a question of audience and what to say to whom. As I try to build a following around my work as Associate Dean, there will be things I want to say in that voice which are different from what I want to say in my voice as cplong, which I am increasingly thinking of as my most public voice - that is, the one with the broadest audience.
Here the question of Facebook becomes interesting. I have been most intentional about my friends on Facebook. For the most part, they are people from my personal life. Now, however, my friends there are more complex, including not only personal friends from the past and present, but increasingly former students, professional colleagues and others who have come to know me exclusively through my digital presence. So, now with the ability to manage privacy more discriminately and with the increasing popularity of my Digital Dialogue, Ancient Philosophy Society and the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies pages, I am thinking about how and whether to expand the breadth of my Facebook friends.
Over the past year, I have thought of my Twitter account as the place with the broadest reach and most indiscriminate publicity - that is, I only block a follower if I think the account is advertising or spam; but I have not concerned myself with precisely who is following me. On Facebook, however, I have always limited my exposure. Now, however, with much of my more personal posts about my family being protected through one of my posterous accounts, I am increasingly thinking of my Facebook presence as more like my Twitter presence. And yet, I think I might be alienating former friends by posting things there related to my academic and administrative work.
This leads me to wonder, again, about what to feed where...