Friday, January 25, 2013

Do You Have A Name In Social Networks?

The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

Findability is something we should probably think about when we are picking a Twitter handle, Skype name, or Facebook page.

If you've ever been in Foresquare, you'll notice very few people use their full name. Add to the fact that a lot of them don't use their own image. It's just a tad frustrating when you are trying to find people to connect with--or if they try to connect with you.

Karen with the kitten avatar and no explanation--who the heck are you?

When a lot of us first joined Twitter, using a crazy name or a different avatar seemed kind of clever, in our own minds. The thing is, the longer you use it, the more connections you have, the more you are stuck with it. It doesn't always make sense when you switch your personal use of Twitter to professional later on.

It's the same with an email address.

If you set up your profiles in 2009, chances are it is too late to change. You are stuck with it. You can change your avatar, but not your name. They are all taken.

Why is this a big deal? (Hey, I'm no better. My other gmail is gridironchick.)

Lately, I cleaned out my two Twitter accounts, unfollowing a host of followings that were not serving me any value. (Their day-to-day activities about having a coffee and putting the kids to bed did not interest me as much as the meaty information and links I get from others.) That exercise took some time and the one thing I noticed was that identifying people was a crap shoot if they didn't use their name, their likeness, and especially if they did not post any information about who they were. Zap! If they protected their tweets, zap! Please. Anything you have to say cannot be that interesting that you have to put a lock on it. Stay out of social networks then and don't waste our time. Just saying.

It felt good to clean house and fine-tune the followers that were more specific to the purpose of each of my Twitter pages.

I'm using a similar philosophy in Google Plus. Instead of blanket following everyone, although I still do that to a certain degree, if someone is not giving me anything worth looking at, or continually posts offensive content, I feel no guilt whatsoever in zapping them.

However, if I've zapped someone I knew and liked because I couldn't identify them by their avatar or name, please accept my apologies.

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