Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Mike Dover
by Mike Dover
Tue Nov 17th 2009 at 5:46pm UTC

The Grey Flannel Suit and the Hawaiian Shirt

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009


There were some interesting comments on my last Creative Class post about the value of one’s social media presence and possible positive and negative effects on a career. One of the readers suggested that having two Twitter accounts makes sense – one that publishes professional material and the other is more personal and restricted to family and close friends.

When I deliver speeches on social media, I often explain the difference between social media platforms in terms of your closet. LinkedIn is a grey flannel suit and Facebook is a Hawaiian shirt. It’s important to have both, but if you show up in a boardroom in a Hawaiian shirt you look like a goof and if you show up on a boathouse roof in a grey flannel suit, you look like an ass. As a side note, several people have pointed out that often the guy wearing a bright floral shirt in a boardroom often owns the place, but that might be the exception that proves the rule.

Generally, LinkedIn should have the reserved, dignified tone of a resume but with fewer restrictions on format and length. Good profiles provide lots of search terms and plenty of recommendations. Although my personal profile might have gone too far in this respect. Beyond 50 recommendations takes someone a few exits past “let’s hire this guy”  and is careening towards “desperately insecure attention seeker”-ville.

Facebook allows more leeway for frivolity in the form of cheeky update status, personal photos, and non-business links (although, trust me… people aren’t interested in what Hogwarts faculty member you are). There are some downsides to inviting colleagues as Facebook friends. For example:

  • Violating work-life separation.
  • Constantly have to monitor content to make sure others aren’t tagging you in the vacation pictures you don’t want the guy in accounts receivable to see.
  • Appearances of favoritism – why did my boss friend my colleagues and not me?
  • “Banter competition” – if Facebook walls become the water cooler, am I putting myself at a disadvantage by not showing up?
  • Offending people (maybe a customer or your boss) by not accepting them or putting them on limited profile (if they are paying attention, it’s easy to tell).

What are your guidelines for friending colleagues?

Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Mon Oct 5th 2009 at 9:19am UTC

Evolving Etiquette of Social and Mobile Technologies

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Social media, communications technologies, and more flexible workplace attitudes have been driving changes to the way we view our personal and professional lives.

A recent Knowledge at Wharton article examines the evolving etiquette as well as challenges surrounding the rise of mobile technologies, such as the Blackberry, as well as social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

As Facebook, Twitter and 24-hour Blackberry access blur the lines between business and personal lives, managers and employees are struggling to develop new social norms to guide them through the ongoing evolution of communications technology. Wharton faculty and other experts say the process of creating rules to cope with the ever-expanding reach of modern communications has just begun, but will be shaped largely by individuals and organizations, not top-down decrees from a digital Emily Post. Generational differences in the approach to openness on the Internet will also be a factor in coming to common understandings of how and when it is appropriate to contact colleagues, superiors or clients.

The article then details some dilemmas – where do you stand?

1.  First, is there a time when “work” should stop and “personal life” should take over?  From the Wharton article:

For example, a Blackberry can allow parents to attend their childrens’ soccer games while remaining in contact with colleagues at the office in case an emergency comes up. But, [Nancy Rothbard] adds, “you have your Blackberry at your kid’s soccer game. That’s another … line you may be crossing.”

2.  Is it healthy to blur your personal self and professional self ?

…says Wharton marketing professor Patricia Williams, “There is the self we are for our friends, a self for our family [and] a professional self. What’s interesting is the degree to which we are comfortable playing all of those ’selves’ at one time.”

“I’ve heard people say that Facebook is for personal friends and LinkedIn is for professional contacts,” Williams notes. “But many of my Facebook friends are my colleagues – people who work just down the hall – and I don’t have a problem with that. I do, however, have some discomfort being ‘Facebook friends’ with my students, because it gives them access to my personal self that’s not normally available to them.”

3. Are younger people, today’s children up through college students, growing up with no separation between these different “selves”?  And what will this mean for the way we work?

Typically, business norms evolve through official policy disseminated by organizations and by “reality” that bubbles up from the organization’s grassroots. [Wharton Professor Monica McGrath] asks “The question is: How accessible do you want to be? [Today,] young people want to be very accessible, and in an international corporation you are expected to be available [around the clock]. Time zones mean nothing. The norms will continue to develop based upon generational leadership.”

To sum up, I expect that the line between personal and professional will become increasingly blurred. First, knowledge work is highly collaborative and it’s hard to work with people who you don’t like – therefore, people will forge friends through collaboration at work. Second, younger generations will have grown up with limited separation between their different personas.

How do mobile and social media technologies enhance or detract from your personal and professional life?

Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Mon Mar 30th 2009 at 8:31am UTC

Five T’s in the Workplace

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Talent, Tolerance, Technology, Territorial Assets, and Tension

These are the workplace characteristics to seek if you’re wanting a job that will offer exciting challenges and have the best chance to survive the economic downturn and thrive in the next upswing – at least that’s my theory. Challenge it if you like.

Richard Florida has demonstrated how talent, tolerance, and technology can help a city prosper, attracting creative people and the businesses that want to hire them. He has recently added “territorial assets” to the mix (locational amenities) and I’ve long promoted Tension as another T – people need a reason, a challenge – to form community and generate new ideas.

It stands to reason (and Florida may have said this somewhere) that the ideal workplace would also offer:

  • A chance to work with talented, experienced, and wise co-workers.
  • Leadership that is tolerant or open to new ideas, alternative approaches to problem solving, or working generally.
  • Top technology that increases efficiency  (which doesn’t necessarily mean every latest gadget or program).
  • A great location near amenities of interest to me (whether transit, roads, parks, restaurants, cafes, pedestrian malls).
  • The types of challenges or tensions in which bright creative people can make a difference.

Status quo is boring; a company just raking in the money without much effort can be a dull place to work after a while (creative people often seek more than a good paycheck).

By contrast, threats, tensions, and new challenges can force all the talented people in an organization to elevate their performance – and the current once-in-a-lifetime economic event is creating many new challenges.

And, I would argue that those companies most open or tolerant to trying new things in the current downturn, to introducing new technologies (such as social media in the workplace), ensuring their location both appeals to workers and helps them be productive – these are the organizations most likely to survive and thrive.

David Miller
by David Miller
Wed Sep 3rd 2008 at 5:10pm UTC

Controlling a MindFrenzy(.com)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

One of the reasons I research the entrepreneurial activities that take place in and around universities is that in many ways the campus is an ideal incubator for ideas. The frontier that is the university demands new ideas constantly (or at least should).

It is a safe space where idea generation and radical thinking are highly valued and often times rewarded. This, as we know from Richard’s and other people’s work, is crucial to improved quality of place – in both economic and social terms.

Recent Ithaca College graduate Jared O’Toole has just launched a new startup called that is an outlet for people with new or unformed ideas. The site is targeting college students because, as Jared stated in an email,

“I just graduated college and I wanted to start a website that would help encourage college students to go after their ideas. That’s the main motivation behind MindFrenzy because most ideas in college aren’t really developed yet and kids usually need some kind of positive push before they stray from that job search and start their own thing.”

The website launched in mid August and has some interesting ideas listed and are looking for feedback from the community. In describing the site Jared stated,

“MindFrenzy is a think-tank geared towards those 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ideas on your notepad. It aims to be a creative community where even the wackiest or out-of-the-box ideas can get feedback in a positive fashion. You never know when a comment will spark something that lets you see how to get that crazy idea and turn it into something more practical.”

I think the idea of “catching” and sharing lots of the “crazy” ideas that are generated on campus is brilliant and I really look forward to seeing where Jared and his Ithaca-born idea will go (Jared pulled himself out of the finance interviewing process in order to pursue this venture).

Do you have a personal What do you do with the ideas that you (or your organization) don’t decide to go with? Do you keep track of them? Do they ever make it back? How does that work?