As you strategize the development of an online identity, you must choreograph how your content is disseminated across social media and profile web services. For any clear professional web services, such as LinkedIn or MonsterJobs, any content you publish must follow proper professional etiquette, serve a purpose, and be carefully scrutinized; the web content should follow the same guidelines as a paper resume – everything is spelled correctly, grammatically correct, succinct, etc.. For all other web services, the guidelines you use to publish content become trickier. Personal content once completely irrelevant in a professional context is becoming relevant. Consider when you apply for an employment opportunity, there is a very good chance your Facebook profile and posts will be reviewed even though this content most likely falls under the umbrella of “personal content”.
Before publishing any personal content on a web service, you should understand what boundaries the web service offers to keep your content personal and accessible to your intended audience. Anyone who uses Facebook can quickly realize how content can be shared without any regard of who is viewing the content. This is because when you sign up for a Facebook account, the default settings for a Facebook account are very open and public. Often times, you make a post on your wall and it is shown on the wall of every person you have friended. Google + recognized this potential “issue” and developed the concept of “circles”, which creates clear boundaries of what content you are sharing and who you are sharing it with. This interface has its clear advantages.
When you publish professional content, you should follow proper etiquette and make sure the content is polished. When you publish personal content, you must consider the “boundaries” of the web service that determine who has access to your content – keeping it “personal”. If you are comfortable with who has access to the content, then your content can be more “free form” in its structure and open with what it projects. Otherwise, if there are no “boundaries” in place, you should consider publishing your content in a professional form because it may be accessed in a professional context.