Social Network Settings: Too Important to Ignore

by Mike Hanbery on March 23, 2010

in Facebook,Twitter,social networking,social networks,web 2.0

It seems as soon as you sign up for an account on an Internet social network, the thing miraculously starts connecting you with people.

You create your account and start entering a little bit of information. “Where do you work?” this thing asks. So you tell it, and almost immediately it comes back with, “Do you know this guy?” And you do, so you say yes, I used to work with him, and as soon as you do, the thing comes back with, “Well, if you used to work with him, then you probably know all these people, right?” And you say yeah, pretty much I do know all those folks and they’re all okay, so you connect with them. Then you type in a box that you were a Gamma Phi at Arizona State, graduating in 1995 and silicon Sally interrupts with, “Are you joking? What a coincidence! So were all these people!” And, hey, wow, there’s Crazy Heather. Haven’t thought about Crazy Heather in a while, let’s shoot a note over to say hello, right? And what do you know but Crazy Heather is online right now! And she shows you the Instant Messaging function from across the country! And within seconds, Heather has connected you with Roxy the Redhead who is now married to the guy you dated Freshman year, 2 kids, working part-time, and darned if Heather doesn’t connect you to him, too, and on it goes…

And you complete your profile and connect and connect and chat and chat and look at pictures of each other and talk about how marvelous this all is, and no one ever tells you to go up to the top right corner of the screen and click the “Settings” link. And so everything about you is out there for anyone to see.

There is a difference between what you tell the network (Facebook, LinkedIn) and what you must share with the world. Especially for those of us who earned nicknames like Crazy Heather and went to college after the camera was invented, this is very important.

It’s true that the more information you share about yourself, the more exposed to risk you are. It’s true that sharing information about yourself on the Internet increases that risk exponentially. It’s also true that giving information about yourself to sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can increase their effectiveness as an outreach tool thereby unlocking much of the power and promise of Web 2.0.

There is certain information you should never give out on the Internet. If it can be used for identity theft or put your kids at risk of a crazy person, keep it to yourself. If it will help your business or accomplish your goals, we say go for it. Regardless, and even if you’ve done it before, go right now. Click over to Facebook, LinkedIn, or your network of choice and make sure the doors and windows are locked.

The rules haven’t changed, right? We just need to apply them in this cool new space.

What do you share? What don’t you share? Why?


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  • Karen L Pellegrin

    This was a nice reminder for me to update my settings on a few things. Time goes by, things happen and then you forget the basics.

  • Social Network Settings: Too Important to Ignore | Hanbery Marketing | CS3 Solutions LLC

    [...] Go here to read the rest: Social Network Settings: Too Important to Ignore | Hanbery Marketing [...]

  • mhanbery

    Karen thanks for reading!

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