December 18, 2008

In Vino Veritas

We just spent the evening at the home of friends who are in the wine importing business. As you might imagine, we didn't drink much water. There is an old proverb: "in vino veritas." It simply attests to the fact that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of wine consumed and the degree to which one can edit one's conversation. In fact, you learn the most interesting things when your companions are under the influence...

With the advent of social media, teetotalers and imbibers alike now have multiple opportunities to converse online without editing themselves. In case you have blindly assumed that it doesn't really matter how you behave online, you should know that lawyers are now beginning to think about the e-discovery implications of Twitter.

To be fair, if you've ever thought that your activities via social media are entirely private, you've been deluding yourself. Google owns your personal archive. Facebook knows who you know. And millions of folks like you are surfing in and out of your online life. Now more than ever, you need to manage your web presence like Hollywood agents manage movie stars. You no longer can limit your image to the four corners of your resume. Now, every time you hit the Web you add to the world's understanding of who you are. And your digital profile can be powerful -- particularly when it doesn't square with your resume. Be aware and be careful.

[photo courtesy of Rob Bieber under a Creative Commons License]