Network Segregation: is that a question?

Bryan Alexander got me thinking about a blog post I started writing 2 or 3 months ago and never finished. I’ll just start from scratch and go from there.

He tweeted: “Wondering if I should stop sending Twitter content automatically to Facebook. Any thoughts, readers and followers?”

I have not been a fan of having a message automatically sent to several networks at once. You can connect together your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts (and probably others) so that whatever you post to one of them is automagically cross posted to the others. Whereas some people probably look at that as an efficient way of communicating something to all your various contacts across all those networks, to me it just seems a bit weird and even unnecessary. It certainly wouldn’t work with the way my own usage of these networks is developing.

My Twitter friends are my most valuable learning network. Almost everything I get out of Twitter comes from educators from around the world to whom I am connected. Here’s an example of a couple of posts today that were valuable to me:

@busynessgirl RT @PCSTech Online Lectures That Will Make You A Better Teacher – http://bit.ly/91yeyC #edtech

@c4lpt The Jane Hart Daily is out – read this Twitter newspaper on http://paper.li/c4lpt (247 contributions today)

None of my family members and personal friends would be interested in that stuff whatsoever. They don’t want to be in my Twitter network and I don’t want them there (sorry).

However, I enjoy Facebooking with those same family members and personal friends. I can somewhat keep tabs on my precocious daughter, follow along for life’s lessons with nephews and nieces and others, and (more recently) get reconnected with lots of my old college buddies.

The biggest problem of having those networks mixed together is probably very obvious. All the Ed-Tech news and notes would just be a bunch of noise to the friends&fam, whereas all the personal “hi, how you doin’?” to the F&F would be completely boring to the Ed-Tech people. Both groups would be more likely to tune you out due to white noise.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite have all this figured out when I started “friending” people on Facebook a few years ago. So, there’s quite a few educators in there that probably find me not too informative about Ed-Tech issues. Most of them are in my Twitter account, but a few are not. To those of you who are in my Facebook network, don’t be offended when I UN-friend you in Facebook. I really want that to be my Internets tube for personal use and keep the professional stuff in Twitter. I’m sure you’ll understand.

To summarize: Yes, I am in favor of segregating my networks into personal and professional. YMMV.

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3 Responses

  1. That argument is persuasive.

    My experience is a bit different, but probably just odd: many friends on both networks, many professional contacts as well. Along with some on LinkedIn!

    Many thanks for writing it up.

  2. MPR had a nice segment related to this: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/08/10/midday2/

    Evolved segmenting is coming. Innovations are required to make it easier. I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more on this.

    Thanks for the Post.

    Pete

  3. I use a program called Selective Tweets. When I want to share a tweet with the FB crowd, I just include #fb on the end of the tweet. All the rest stay in Twitter ONLY.

    I find that solves the problem nicely.

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