Patty's Musings and Questions on Profile Overload
I’ve been doing some client research recently. I’ve been looking at your profiles on FaceBook, Linked In, Plaxo, et al. I’ve been following your tweets. I’m not surprised to learn that the vast majority of our clients (many of whom are baby boomers, like me) have quite a lot of information purposely posted on the ‘Net. This is pretty useful. For example, if I want to introduce one client to another, I can send an email introducing them but also include links to their Facebook/Linked In/Plaxo pages or Twitter handles.
I’ve also been thinking (again/always) about how best to create an online community among like-minded busy, already information-overloaded professionals. So here’s my question to you. If you’re a customer-centric executive and an active client of the Patricia Seybold Group, do you want to create yet another profile on our site in order to interact with us and with your colleagues? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just provide a photo/icon/screen name and link it to all the identities you already have?
I know that I’m getting tired of creating multiple profiles everywhere, and I find myself loosely coupling everything to everything I already have. For example, you can see my blog posts and my tweets if you go to my Facebook page. If you go to my Friendfeed profile, you can also see everything I tag on De.li.cious. Do you care? I have no idea, but I enjoy following your feeds. In today’s loosely-coupled, highly distributed world, it seems as if we all want to expose bits of pieces of ourselves, our interests and our activities in different corners of the Web. If someone were to assemble all the pieces of me that are out there online and pull them together into an “uber-profile” how would I feel about it? I’d probably be appalled by all the outdated information that’s floating around and scurry around to fix it. I don’t know if I would feel that my privacy had been invaded, but I might. Because for each service I use, I reveal or expose the thoughts and activities and facets of my life that I feel are relevant and appropriate for that audience and context. When you pull them together into an uber-profile (as I’m sure someone is doing somewhere), then there are things that will turn up that I may not have thought carefully enough about sharing and now they’re out there forever! So, my current thinking is that I may continue to use these various aggregation mechanisms to pull my own fractured public profile together, but I would be appalled if someone else did that and posted it on a public page.
What do you think? Take the Poll.