Plenty of BNET readers connected with the dilemma Chip Conley faced when he posted his Burning Man pics on his Facebook page. Should you have one identity online, or do you need to edit it according to the medium your messaging?
The Twitter and LinkedIn partnership helps answer that question and reflects two general trends in business -- authenticity and consolidation. Generally, LinkedIn's regarded as the professional's network, the only one that some business people will use. There is some prejudice and/or suspicion when it comes to Twitter. Talking to a couple of senior execs recently, both used Linked In but didn't 'get' Twitter. One felt it crossed the line into her personal life in a way she didn't particularly welcome.
But that line's been growing blurrier by the day anyway. Today, says Twitter founder Biz Stone in this clip, people are finding the persona they create for themselves on the Web is an important part of their CV. In other words, it needs to be coherent and consistent from one place to another.
So LinkedIn and Twitter's partnership -- nicknamed 'TwitterIn" by LinkedIn's founder Reid Hoffman, should be good news unless you're pathologically against microblogging concept. The main benefit from a time management viewpoint is that it allows you to update your status simultaneously.
But LinkedIn's (smartly) businesslike status is preserved by allowing users to screen out any tweets that aren't quite right for their professional network, by using #in for the ones you want to share across Twitter and LinkedIn contacts.
Hoffman also advises users to consider what their Twitter strategy will be ahead of joining the microblog's growing body of users. It's possible to have multiple Twitter accounts -- meaning that you can, presumably, restrict your racier updates and pics if you want.
There's a sense that networks are moving towards ever more finely sliced lists and that may become unmanageable while mitigating against transparency. But in the meantime, there's a big benefit to being able to update your status once across both your networks. LinkedIn borrows Twitter's buzziness while loaning its partner a bit more of a business face. Work and life meet nicely in the middle. Can't really see a downside, except that it might increase the frequency of Twitter's outages.