The world is listening
By Stewart Townsend on Jan 22, 2009
Ive been using online social media tools now for over 18 months - 24 months, in various forms and guises essentially I have been communicating to the outside world what my thoughts and feelings are on a daily basis. This has now become a matter of habit around updating random strangers what my movements are, where Im at, showing them pictures of the location, if Im having fun, what Im eating, really a micro view into my life and work to show them ME as a person.
When Im actively blogging, twittering, updating my status feeds, this is giving an insight into my daily routines, who Im talking to, who I know and Im associated with, and enables people to build up a character profile around me and understand a little bit more of who Iam and how I would react to marketing and messages, but also enables me to talk about my passions and promote my job.
What we all need to think about though is this, the world is listening, and recording these transcripts and they are held and stored away for a period of time, most likely indefinitely. So what ? Well, as you go through life, you may succeed in certain aspirations but you are leaving a trail and without thinking, comments and thoughts, that well may change over time, but you are leaving a digital footprint of your character across the data stores that are simple and easy to find.
Well who cares about what I say ?
You should, everything you say and react to leaves a comment or feedback that enables people, potential job prospectors, competitors or your customers to see what you have shouted about in public, thus if you have been critical of your competitor in public, or potential employeer it could be brought against you and reduce your chances of winning a customer or new job.
The Information Shift.
It used to be that people kept their personal thoughts to themselves and maybe aired some of them on occasion in public, now these thoughts are being aired to a global audience with a lack of thinking about the impact or reaction, and how they information will be used and stored for reference. The days of a diary and personal log, seem to have gone, these are now online repositories stored in disparaged silos, most of the time, that can be indexed and brought together to build a profile of that person, if I search for Stewart Townsend I will find numerous references from multiple feeds that then needs to be filtered.
Evidence of how this can affect you.
It’s a story about a PR account executive/vice president named James Andrews from Ketchum in Atlanta who flew to Memphis to visit FedEx, one of the agency’s biggest clients. Andrews’ mission was to — now, this is important — talk with the corporate communications people at FedEx about social media.
Upon landing in Memphis, Andrews posted this message on the popular social media, mini-blogging service, Twitter, that’s widely followed by business people worldwide:
“True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say, ‘I would die if I had to live here.’”
So in the old world, this would have been Andrews thoughts as he landed to himself, but he felt the need to broadcast these views to an audience on impulse, the backlash was swift and quick. But what this shows, and is lost sometimes, we have to remember that the World is Listening and what we say is being recored, can be reused and could have some come back so you have to think about your actions as a person and also if you are representing a company what the implications could be against them as well.
We all have an identity and character, and this is being broadcast on a live stage using social media, so be careful about what you say and do, as it will ripple across the globe and using the crowdsource theme reach a destination that you didnt intend it to , also it could get interepreted incorrectly as well, due to limited wordage.