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How many Facebook Profiles does it take to...

The professional vs personal profile on the Internet is becoming quite popular. I think it is logical that with the expansion of the Internet, there are more ways one can be portrayed. Accordingly, in life (offline), our image is simply how we are portrayed as well. Thus, it is only a matter of time for offline and online personal image to clash.

I have a secret. Yes, I have two Facebook profiles. I did not want to make this public but I think this is a great opportunity for me to explain. I have my private profile (that I will not disclose) and I have my public profile: Alphonse Hà.

My comments on LinkedIn Evangelist Mario Sundar's blog: Marketing Nirvana regarding the issue of having 2 online social networking personas vs just one promted this blog.

Here are my comments to his post (I must admit that I am quite happy to see that he created a new post to draw more attention to my comments!):
I have just graduated from college and I have been on Facebook for over 2 years now. When I was in college it didn’t really matter to me what pictures were tagged of me. However, now that I have a job in Marketing in a small placement Agency, I had to create another Facebook profile because I refused to use my personal Facebook profile for testing different recruiting methods on Facebook. This new profile is great because it allowed me to add over 100 people I knew (and counting) that I did not want on my personal profile because they are acquaintances and I did not want their updates to trump the updates of my friends I wanted to know about. However, having an empty profile (no tagged pictures or any other activity besides adding friends) is not beneficial to the recruiting I want to do. So I ended up having to spend time to develop that profile as well and I have to say that is quite time consuming.

Moreover, I am now in a silly dilemna, there are a category of people that I know that I don’t know if I want them on my professional profile or on my personal profile and I must admit that it is quite a waste of brain space. I think that Mark’s idea of having one social networking website that allows different faces would be a great idea and I also agree that whatever is on the Internet stays on the Internet however the Internet is so large that certain things tends to get lost and that could be a good thing.

The reason I created two profiles was mainly for work, I am testing how to recruit on Facebook (I will get into that some other time) and since social networks such as Facebook are based on transparency, having an empty profiles with no wall posts, no pictures and no friends (basically no activity) will not be beneficial to what I want to accomplish. So with time I saw that this profile was great because it allowed me to add a bunch of acquaintances that I did not want on my private profile because I did not want their news in my news feed to take over the news of the people I really want to know, the ones who are close to me. However, the professional or public profile allowed me to reconnect with a lot of people from high school or to keep in touch with classmates from university. We all just graduated or on the verge to graduate thus it is nice to know what they are doing and it is also great for networking.

All this to say that basically, I strongly believe now that having two profiles is nothing to hide. Just like I have a public life and a private life. What I do in my private life is none of your business unless I decide to divulge it to you and if you are unhappy about that then that is not my problem. I have the right to decide who I allow in my private life just as much as you do.

PS: If it bothers you so much that somebody does not allow you in their private life, connect with them. If it doesn't click then it just doesn't click!