There's going to be a series of articles shortly that go into my attempts of using social networking to build your business but I thought I'd get this one out into the blogosphere first.
What with the recent onslaught of "celebrities" onto Twitter such as Stephen Fry (who incidentally p'd a lot of people off the other day while over-posting), Chris Moyles and David Allen to mention a few, it got me thinking whether Twitter can actually be a negative thing for you and/or your business. I'm not referring to the tremendous time you lose reading and responding to the numerous posts (Tweets) but more about the transparency issues you'll run into.
Those of you who know me in person know that I don't tend to bite my tongue (not always a good thing I can tell you!) and instead tend to speak openly and honestly regardless of the situation, so for me I don't really worry about what I Tweet, IM, e-mail or SMS as it's usually saying the same thing (unless I'm tired and losing my mind!). I have however noticed that's not true for everyone.
For me, Twitter, MSN and these other social-status update services such as Facebook bring a whole new layer of complexity to those who want to "skive" -who hasn't seen the notorious Kyle Doyle email. It's not so much full on lies like Kyle's that I'm referring to but more the little ones like saying you couldn't complete some work because of xyz and then having posted a message on Twitter along the lines of "sod this I'm off to the pub". When your employer (or even friend) see's that, if it doesn't immediately annoy them, it will certainly plant the seed of doubt in their mind.
I've been seeing this "phenomenon" for a while, it started with MSN status updates, then Facebook and now the worst of them all -Twitter. For goodness sake, just be honest, if you lie these days you're so much more likely to be caught out and that really can ruin your reputation -or at least lose you business.