After reading this article about a not-so-smart educator losing what he’d spent years building, I thought I’d mention some simple rules to live by. These go for business and personal online profiles.
1) Friend your Mom. Also follow one another on Twitter, link on Linked In– whatever it takes. If your Mom’s not around or not online, find a social media replacement mom for these purposes. Or just act like your mom is reading everything you post.
2) See it on a billboard. To paraphrase Scott Stratten of UnMarketing “Don’t post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard as you were driving by, with your mom in the passenger seat.”
3) Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say in front of your male friends, female friends, gay friends, black friends Hispanic friends, white friends, Asian friends, Republican or Democrat friends, spouse, boss, or anyone else you don’t want to offend. Rule of thumb, if you were at a party and you said this, then turned around and saw someone unexpected behind you, would you say “no offense!” If so, don’t post it on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else online.
To those who want to act like Facebook is a private little party, it’s not.