A Flaming Sword – Kicking Myself Out of the Garden

Naaa…it’s probably going to be a lot more porous, but for now, I’m trying to separate my personal Twitter account (@mguhlin) from my work (@ectechhornet).

Disclaimer: No, I haven’t been told, counseled, asked or anything like that. My work has been wonderfully supportive and kind to grant me “faux rock star status,” bless their hearts. I’m doing it for my own sanity. 🙂

But separating it all is harder than I imagined. It’s tough because many of the IFTTT.com recipes, habits I’ve built, Twitter lists (you try rebuilding a Twitter list with lots of people in it!!), and other stuff makes it tough. That’s why I’m writing this blog entry…if you are in an organization, separate out your personal and work accounts now, when your followings are small rather than later.

Here’s how I shared it with a colleague (slightly edited):

When people search on “DistrictName” or “DistrictName ISD,” I don’t want my personal content to come up because I have a bigger digital footprint than my District’s burgeoning social media efforts. Does that make sense? I recently had a local news reporters follow me on Twitter. This happens, not necessarily because I’m posting work stuff on my personal account but because they look at who I am following and, more likely, who in the District is following me and then they follow that account. 

As such, I’d rather they followed my work twitter than my personal.

SEPARATING WORK AND “PERSONAL PROFESSIONAL”Over the last week, as a result of that experience, I have made an effort to put my tip to add district staff who may be following my personal account (@mguhlin) on an DISTRICTNAME list. I am trying to keep those I follow down to less than 300, eventually 200. 

View complete presentation online

I intend to move my work relevant Twitter lists–once I have time to do so–to my @ectechhornet account. The lists were for my convenience and since I use Hootsuite, I can choose to post from either account at will.

To separate out my accounts, I had to consider several things:

  1. What tags to use in my content curation tool, ReadItLater’s Pocket. I don’t want to have to login to different accounts. Rather, I just want to use different tags for my @mguhlin Tweets and @edtechhornet tweets. Those tags are important because they trigger action in my IFTTT.com recipes. I use Pocket on my Android phone, iPad and every computer I touch. Find out more online at http://tinyurl.com/tcea14 in the Drinking from the Internet Firehose section.
  2. Start Using a Work-specific IFTTT.com. I actually had created an IFTTT.com account for my work content, but had gotten comfortable creating everything in my personal IFTTT.com. I decided to clean out my recipes in my personal IFTTT account, creating new recipes in my work IFTTT.com account. I ended up with about 14 recipes that are keyed on several tags that appear in Pocket. Both my work and personal IFTTT accounts tie into my personal Pocket account, but because of the tags I use, I can tweet to different twitter accounts. Check sample recipes at bottom of this blog post.
  3. Use HootSuite.com to decide how you want to RT/MT content to the world. I love HootSuite as my primary Twitter dashboard on mobile as well as desktop devices. I can pick on the fly how I want to share content…as @mguhlin on Twitter, @mguhlin on LinkedIn, or @ecttechhornet on Twitter.
  4. Social Media – Public or not? Since I’m “public” on LinkedIn, I honestly considered blocking Twitter followers who were work-related. But after causing at least one fan a sleepless night (“What did I do wrong?”) I decided to drop that approach and just unfollow folks, then add work colleagues to my work related lists on the work twitter account. While I live most of my online life in public, sharing family photos of my children shouldn’t cause me to start wondering who’s reading my public Facebook or Twitter account and whether it’s any of their business.
So, that’s pretty much it! I have separated out my tweets and resource sharing. Obviously, there is overlap but I can decide if I want to tweet something to work and personal by adding a tag in Pocket.
For example, let’s say I encounter a great resource on Digital Storytelling. If I add the tag “tweet” (I recommend “1tweet” because the tag list is alphabetized in Pocket), it goes to my @mguhlin account. If I add “eclead” it gets tweeted to my @ectechhornet account. If I add BOTH tags, it gets routed to both Twitter accounts.
Absolutely awesome fun!
Sample IFTTT Recipes:

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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