I had a quick conversation with my friend Peter Anello yesterday (@AnelloPJ) about whether to have two Twitter accounts: one for personal use, and one for professional use. I currently have a single Twitter account, @bgrasley, which I use both for professional stuff (like #edtech thoughts) and personal stuff (yes, @timrobinsonj, for the #elliptical information).
My first thought was that I don’t mind everything being out there; if I had two Twitter accounts they would both be publicly visible, so there is no need for two. But Pete’s point was that it’s more for followers to be able to choose which parts of my life they’re interested in following – for example, many people would only be interested in the education stuff.
I hadn’t really thought about it before. He mentioned an article about how it bothers people to read your personal stuff if they follow you professionally (I haven’t read the article yet). I certainly have experienced that before, when someone has a stream of 42 tweets about their lovely dinner menu, and it “clutters” the feed.
Steve Gibson of GRC does this: he has @SGgrc for Security, hardware, and similar “work” stuff, @SGvlc for very low carb stuff, @SGpad for tablet/iPad stuff, and @SGreads for books/reading stuff. I don’t think managing it is that difficult from his end, and I imagine people who want security news but not low-carb information are pleased.
On the other hand, I’ve had some good non-professional conversations with people who I might otherwise only know professionally. If they didn’t follow me for both my thoughts on e-Learning and for my #NaPoWriMo posts, our relationships wouldn’t be as rich. The owl post (Great Grey Owl snow-plunges and catches mouse!) is a great example of this – it’s not work-related, but I had more conversations about it with members of my PLN than about most other education-related items. I also don’t have 40,000 followers like Steve Gibson has, so I’m not inconveniencing a large number of people. :)
I wonder how hashtags fit into this as well – if we’re careful to include hashtags in our posts, that helps to separate conversations by theme. Is this enough? I primarily dip into my Timeline to see what’s happening, and only look at searches or lists sporadically. I don’t think hashtags would help me that much, except when following an event.
So, please weigh in – would you rather see two accounts (Professional Brandon and Personal Brandon) or just one? Why?