1. I joined Twitter well over two years ago, when it first swept the alpha geeks. Back then, it was yet another unknown quantity; a service we all signed up for but which might not prove sticky, or which could just go bust. Along with a bunch of the people who joined around that time, I plumped for privacy over publicity.
2. My previous employers were the sort of place where “social media” meant “Facebook”, whereas to me it means an entire ecosystem of sites, with each typically specialising in a particular “social object”. I didn’t know of anyone else seriously on Twitter, and if there were, they didn’t try to follow me and I didn’t follow them. This meant I could bitch about work or, just as commonly, let off steam at my own inability to concentrate, or solve a problem.
3. When I moved companies in the middle of last year, it was only a couple of months before I was following, and followed by, all of the co-workers who had a Twitter account. In effect, whilst still nominally “private”, my account had become part of a public sphere, the workplace.
4. In the year and a half between my joining Twitter and leaving my previous employer, I never suggested that should set up a Twitter account. Why would I? It was a place for me to grumble to my friends, not a place for broadcast or companies. Ironically, it turns out that someone used their name for an account earlier this year, not with the best of intentions. That’s gone now, but despite setting up a social media division, they don’t seem to have an account of their own.
5. My current place of work has both a corporate account, and an ‘overheard in the office’ account (which is used even less, but ah well). My co-workers are evenly split between being private and public, with one not on Twitter at all, and another having both public and private personas. (Is it interesting to note that the women tend to privacy?)
6. I wonder why I was so keen to suggest an account for my current employers when it didn’t even occur to me to recommend it for my previous ones. After all, I’d done so within a month of joining. (In contrast, it was only a couple of months ago that I decided to make sure I controlled the account for my real name, as well as my nick.)