Social Amnesia – What’s your social identity worth to you?
I had the unfortunate experience of losing one of my Social Media accounts recently. And as per the popular song… You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone!
I like Social Networking: Even if I haven’t quite eschewed email and my C: drive, I rely heavily on my social network for information, for feedback and for personal communications. My 350 carefully vetted Twitter followers, my 150 Facebook family and friends, my 100 LinkedIn business contacts and University alumni, my 50 RedBubble artist friends and the dozen subscribers to my WordPress blog, make up most of my social network.
It’s not a huge network, but it’s mine, it is personal, it is relevant and it is important to me. Whether I like it or not, it also defines my public identity, to a certain extent.
So what happens when disaster strikes? What if all that was wiped away?
Louis Richardson very eloquently describes a new Information/Knowledge Management environment that centres around the individual and his social network rather than information collected in documents. (“People-centric vs. Content-centric” http://bit.ly/gU5Skf). AIIM (by voice of Geoffrey Moore) similarly describe the transition from “Systems of Record” to “Systems of Engagement”. (http://www.aiim.org/Research/AIIM-White-Papers/Systems-of-Engagement)
Both of these highlight the fact that my social identity is now a more important asset than the collection of knowledge artefacts that live on my hard disk and get backed up regularly.
I have no backup of my social identity!
Within my work environment, people will look to my social community profile, to understand who I am, where I come from and what my interest and expertise is, based on my profile, my tags, my network contacts, my blogs, the communities I belong to, the bookmarks I shared, etc
One day my public profiles (through a weird upgrade bug) got wiped clean. My profile was blank, my identity was gone! I was no longer an opinionated thought leader and social media zealot, or helpful ECM advocate with answers to questions. I was another blank profile with just a name.
Rebuilding that identity is not easy. Not only it takes time and effort, but trying to remember what was there to start with, is a nightmare. Who was I connected to? Which communities did I belong to? What tags did people assign to me? More importantly, how long will it take for my profile to “mature” to the same level of trust and credibility that it carried before?
Thinking about this, I realised how much I’ve come to rely on social media. Facebook and LinkedIn are my address & phone lists and birthday calendars for friends, family and work colleagues. My on-line calendar is also my diary and meetings history log. My blog site contains most of my innovative thoughts & nuggets from the last 3 years. The people I follow on twitter are my market intelligence engine. The people that follow me, are my influence sphere.
If these accounts were to suddenly disappear, I will have lost not only years of investment, but my social identity and my social memory. And that would cost me time, it would cost me operational efficiency, it would cost me credibility, it would cost me competitiveness, and it would cost me personal angst. It will ultimately have an impact to both my work and to my private life.
How do I protect this identity? Some tools, like Facebook, have their own mechanisms for taking a backup copy of your profile data. Did you know that? When was the last time you took a backup of your Facebook account? Other third-party tools (e.g. http://www.backupify.com) will backup and restore multiple public profiles from different tools. They are commendable, but not complete. And how many of us actually use them?
Take a step back: Imagine for a moment that your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts are wiped clean. Imagine that your blog has no entries. In the people-centric world of social networking, what impact will this Social Amnesia have to your business and your personal life?
I am an ECM Strategist, Social Media explorer and amateur photographer. Professionally, I have been involved with Document Management, Process Management and ECM for the last 20+ years. I work for IBM Software, although the views here are my own and not those of my employer.
Top Posts & Pages
- 2020 and beyond… The mother of all Information Management predictions
- ECM is dead. Long live ECM…
- Do you organise your fridge like your information??
- A clouded view of Records and Auto-Classification
- I buy, sell, market, service… When did ECM become a Monte Carlo celeb?
- On Economics, Commerce and other such trivia…
- Seven even deadlier sins of Information Governance
- So what? Who cares? – The art of being relevant
- Looking for Mr. Right – Revisited
- Please speak Human!
- LOL RT @chris_p_walker: Well I'm not doing it again. Can't afford to have my score go down.@skjekkeland 1 week ago
- Perfect!! :-) RT @skjekkeland: @parapadakis @chris_p_walker And I have now changed the quiz to show questions and answers;) 1 week ago
- @skjekkeland ...and not enough wine, obviously! ;-) I think the quiz is a great idea. Just add correct answers at the end. @chris_p_walker 1 week ago
- @skjekkeland Thanks Atle. It's the principle - I had the same bugbear with CIP exam. Missing an opp to share knowledge. @chris_p_walker 1 week ago
- @chris_p_walker Ever seen a TV quiz where they say: "Sorry, you are wrong, but we won't tell you what the right answer is"? @skjekkeland 1 week ago
You can also find me at: