I’ve been thinking about all the different online “personas” I have, after a recent conversation over on The Third Eve‘s blog.
I can think of several categories that I could organize my online personas into:
Waldorf/anthroposophy–including this blog, Yahoo groups, philosophyoffreedom.com, and others
Professional–including this blog, LinkedIn, the EFA, Monster, the Copyediting-L Listserv, and others
Social networking–Facebook, Orkut, Ning, etc. (pretty much I only use Facebook at this point)
Fun stuff–this blog, Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, Craftster, Flickr, etc.
I normally keep these worlds fairly separate. I identify my “real” name and self on some of these sites, but I keep my blog semi-anonymous. That used to be out of a vague fear for my kids’ safety, which I no longer believe is a big issue. But why keep them separate?
Waldorf and anthroposophy are, to be honest, fairly fringe in the larger scheme of things. My typical thought is something like “I don’t want any potential clients to think I’m some weirdo and not hire me.” But is that realistic? Is it really that weird, or is it simply something I’m interested in and since most people have never heard of it, it’s not an issue? Would anyone even care? I know of several freelance editors who have personal blogs that the freely link to, some of which are overtly political, for example. It doesn’t seem to affect their success.
I guess I just wonder about why my personal life should be connected in any way to my professional life. Why should I link my online selves in such a way that they should intersect at all? Why should my work life be in any way connected with my Flickr account, which is filled with photos of my kids and home?
This comes up for me especially in regard to marketing myself as a freelance editor. I’m using LinkedIn, the EFA, and other sources, but I wonder about putting up my resume (especially as I just revamped it and think it looks pretty cool!) or other details here on my Editing page. They say that the more places you are online, the higher your Google and other search engine rankings will be…and therefore the higher likelihood that people will contact you.
What say ye, O twelve loyal readers?