Who Are You?

Meghan Casserly of Forbes wrote an interesting piece about managing multiple online identities and the danger of spreading oneself too thin.

To support her piece she talked to Ashley Brown, a PR consultant with Jones-Dilworth, has spent the past few years immersing herself in social media to advise her tech startup clients.

Brown cautions, “When on a day to day basis you’re fragmenting your personality into subsets of networks and assigning different aspects of yourself to different audience groups, it makes it extremely difficult to be a complete person offline.”

I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it’s a provocative statement that leads me to think. As a person with three Twitter accounts–@davidburn, @bonehook and @adpulp–multiple Facebook pages and more blogs than I can count on one hand, am I somehow compromised, or less than my whole self, when you meet me in real life?

The truth is people connect with me (and with you) where they have an interest. When I meet colleagues in the ad industry for a beer, they’re meeting David Burn of AdPulp and Bonehook (two sides of one coin). Likewise, if I’m tasting Pinot Noir in Newberg or Dundee, the people I meet are more interested in the fact that I cover the local wine industry on Liquid Oregon. And so on…

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