I have been using Twitter for a while now and watching my over 200 “friends” twittering away I began to see a definite “personality” associated with each individual, myself included.There was one, fairly well-known, podcaster who I began following as I have enjoyed his shows, his writing and his talks at the annual Podcast Expos. After a week or so of following him, though, I began to see a side to his online personality that was quite disagreeable. Despite my previous good experiences with him, I found his Twitterstream to be angry, depressed and combative. If you judged him only on what you saw in his Twitterstream, you would probably have avoided him, had you ever met him in person. After about 2 weeks, I finally stopped following him.Did her ever hear from others how he was perceived? Did he notice himself the personality he was projecting through his stream? I don’t know, but it made it very clear that everyone needs to monitor what they saying, and how they are saying it, online and make sure their online personality fits with their “real world” personality. Otherwise, they may be making very difficult for others to understand them.
…it made it very clear that everyone needs to monitor what they saying, and how they are saying it, online and make sure their online personality fits with their “real world” personality.
Using Twitter as an example, you can go back and review pages and pages of your own messages, isolated from the surrounding conversation. A quick trip through your archives can be very illuminating. You can very quickly get an overview of the tone of your messages and the content. Are you replying a little or a lot? Are the messages clear or filled with jargon? While your tone will vary from day to day, do you see a tendency to be nasty, dismissive, mean? If that is your usual personality, so be it. There is, at least, a consistency between you online and offline personalities. It is when the personalities don’t agree that things get weird and followers get confused. Much like my example above.Now, repeat this exercise for your other social network communications and even your email. What are you really saying about yourself online? What impression (especially the all-important first impression) are you making on folks who first meet you online?