18 August 2008

What's In Your Profile?

Last week I participated on a conference call with the founder of a tech startup in Tel Aviv. They're asking for a proposal to help promote a new product online.

Within a few hours of the call I got a Facebook friend request from the company's CEO.

I immediately accepted the request comfortable in the knowledge that no pictures exist in my profile or tagged with my name that portray me:
  • Drunk
  • Picking my nose
  • Wearing a thong
  • Dressed like an oompa-loompa
  • Shoving straws up my nose
  • Flashing gang signs
This may all sound funny, but these are all specific examples of pictures I've found on Facebook or other social networks of colleagues, potential employees, potential clients, or other professional contacts in the normal course of business.

I can't tell you what to put in your profile, but I can tell you who's looking at them.


Lindsey Loughman said...

Maybe I'm young but I would be a little impressed by someone who could pull off a good oompa-loompa.

My point is that while no one needs to see your champion of beer pong face, the lines of self censorship are becoming greater and greater.

FB was designed to share - be it in pictures, stories or information. Now I have more and more friends who have turned off their pictures all together. When does the sense of community overide our big brother need to have a perfect online persona?

Shouldn't some spaces be allowed to focus on friendships rather than business partners? Can we except that people have lives outside of the office that don't take away from their awesome professional character?

David All said...

There's a reason why Facebook created the "de-tagging" option for photos. It is those that do not properly manage their online reputation that could suffer because of it.

However, another side of this coin -- As an employer of a team of young, talented online operatives, if someone seeks employment with DAG but doesn't have an authentic Facebook profile, we don't follow-up. I want to hire folks who have fun in life.


David said...

good points Lindsey & David. (the oompa-loompas were exceptionally well done.)

FB does have spaces where you can keep pictures private. You have a right to post whatever you want. And I have a right to assess the persona you share with the world when you apply for a job. It's akin to choosing what you wear for a job interview - you can still be a fun person, but if you show up in my office wearing torn jeans and a megadeath t-shirt, I know you're not the person I put in front of my clients. David All is a fun guy but still knows how to present himself.

Showing off your "drunk" pictures doesn't mean you're a bad person, it just means you're probably not the best fit for everything.