Personalised Facebook URL – got it but will it do me any good?

So I’ve just registered my personalised Facebook URL – http://www.facebook.com/kimberleyl – because I could. But, given the surge of Twitter and my recently ignited affair with tweeting, my Facebook time has dramatically reduced. Actually, I lie.  My decreased use began about a year ago when I decided I didn’t want to post personal photos of myself online or to be a victim of tagging, update my status which remained so until I bothered to change it again (the static nature of the status often became void the minute after I posted it) and yes, I do believe in conspiracy theories.

I promptly deleted many photos and asked friends not to tag me in any pics. Realising the selfishness of this request I just didn’t appear in any photos, removing myself from all photo oportunities and whilst this has worked for the most part, some do still creep through. And I know the pics I deleted are still in the FB system somewhere but I know I am not significant enough for anyone to bother digging them out of the trash.

Then, I put all but family and very close friends on limited profile disabling their ability to post on my wall. I re-set all privacy settings to ‘paranoid freak who thinks people actually care enough to stalk me’. And I think I have achieved a ‘she never does anything/go anywhere’ status by having such a neglected profile. Does this mean I’m a bad social networker?

To explain why I still actually have a FB profile, I have kept in closer touch with relatives I would otherwise see on special occasions only (pretty much just Christmas) and friends overseas. It has also been to facilitate my admin status on my workplace’s Facebook page (WordStorm PR) and the PRIA NSW New Media Group Facebook group. Facebook does still have a function and use for me but this has become quite specific. I still pick up the phone and have face to face time with the people closest to me and I still much prefer this kind of relationship.

The great things about having a FB profile are that I know what’s happening around town via event listings and invitations, I am reminded about birthdays (not that I would ever forget them) and I still get poked. On Twitter, I have developed many great new online connections (thank you Iggy Pintado) with people I would not have otherwise had access to. I have also developed my LinkedIn profile, signed up for Scribd and kept up with this blog so maybe I’m not such a bad social networker after all.

I do have an online presence that is significant in my everyday life. In my social networks I have a speaking part and I am not just a tree in the backdrop (obviously school plays were not my forte). My ‘personal brand’ is growing and developing each day with more Tweets and posts and comments I leave. My online footprint is becoming more visible through my identity as KimberleyL and Kimberleyjl when the former is not available.

So,  to answer my own question (which I am known to do from time to time), yes, having my personalised Facebook URL http://www.facebook.com/kimberleyl is a value add for my online identity. I just may become a more active Facebooker (did I make that word up?) once more if a situation calls for such activity. Having my own URL makes it easier for people to find me which I’m sure, is not a bad thing…

How is your relationship with Facebook thus far?

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New Media Learnings

For a time, it seemed the more I learned, the less I seemed to know. When the moment arrived where my knowledge seemed to be catching up with the teachings, a feeling of joy and triumph over washed my exasperation at what started as a vast unknown. I have since learned that a similar feeling is shared amongst beginners of new media practice; another relief.

Receiving a High Distinction in my university subject ‘Convergence and New Media’ in 2004 has serendipitously lead me to become a proudly self-confessed geek and the new media department at the PR agency where I now work. Over the past 15 months I have attended lectures, seminars, workshops, Surry Hills social media breakfasts and read as many articles about new media as my brain can cope with at the end of a work day. Perhaps I have just never noticed it before but for me, the manifestation of new media is the most verbose I have ever seen in my 25 years in this world.

I have witnessed trends and spikes in experiential and online marketing, ‘viral’ campaigns and indeed in the growth of PR as an industry itself but not in such a pretentious manner that web 2.0 and social media has proliferated. I have also learned that this growth is not as sudden as it may appear to be to the web 2.0 newbie with developments and social networks existing for some years now (yes, Twitter is now a toddler at three years old). Although I do empathise with those who think these are new platforms as we have only just received mass newspaper column inches and air time dedicated to new media in very recent times.

A defining moment in my new media love affair was being labelled a “true geek chic” by one of my Twitter followers who happens to be a tech journalist. My scrapbook (not quite yet a portfolio) of new media knowledge and achievements has developed a great interest and hunger for more. The propensity for magnificent communication, enabled by technology and new media concepts excites me in a way that is perhaps verging on profane.

Witnessing the issues that have arisen for the brave who have gone before us to publicly practice new media, it is evident that there is still much to be defined and decided. Ethical and corporate guidelines, issues of intellectual property and copyright have no doubt put the fear of the public into many PR, marketing and communications professionals who are only too aware of public hangings for ‘bad practice’, e.g. the arraignment of Naked communications for their jacket ‘lie’. Although we can’t ignore the wins for new media – blogs as valuable sources of information, Facebook for event organisers, Twitter news from plane crashes and the great sense of community social media has forged for many groups, followers and subscribers.

The opportunities web 2.0 has presented many individuals, groups and businesses still surprises me and I am keen to be a part of this phenomenon in as many ways as I can…although holding down a full time job and being a major player in new media is still a slight obstacle I am still trying to navigate.