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November 21, 2006

Who are you in cyberspace?

Originally uploaded by hatesscreennames.
I really enjoy Marc Sirkin's takes on jumping into self-forming groups, in Second Life, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. From what I can tell, his strategies for engaging the LLS into these groups are transparent, deliberate and thoughtful.

A few days back he posted some questions about how to set up profiles for an organization within a community that is based on individual membership. Really good questions. Like, when I sign up my organization for MySpace, what do I put for age? My age, or the association's? What about marital status or gender?

These are questions you get when you try to shoe-horn an organization into a system designed for individuals. Cumbersome. Confusing.

Given my propensity for transparency in social media, and what I perceive to be a backlash against marketing in the social networking arena, I think I would advise that individuals who want to involve their organizations in social networking view their participation as something they do as an individual on behalf of their organization.

When representing your association at a conference, you don't introduce yourself as your association. Why would you do this in a social networking setting?

In other words, if you want to represent your association in MySpace or Second Life, sign up as yourself (with your own name, age, sex, marital status) and weave information on your association throughout your profile. Be an agent of the association, not the association itself.

I have absolutely nothing to base this on except gut instinct.



Marc Sirkin said...

Right now, common sense and your gut is all you got!

Thanks for the linkage - Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben Martin, CAE said...

Does the size of your gut count? Because mine should be another inch around by the end of this weekend!