With the completion of our matriculation in the New Media University, and the associated metaphor, we could have literally closed the last chapter on the subject of scholarship. But as we’re now learning together, the evolution of media and communications is perpetual and timeless. And this book strives to go beyond the widespread elementary and superficial commentary, lessons, and observations that prevent us from truly acquiring the necessary skills and proficiencies to initially grasp and eventually excel.
A Rude Awakening
In the case of Philadelphia Eagles employee Dan Leone, he was fired after posting his unhappiness with the Eagle’s loss of player Brian Dawkins to the Denver Broncos, “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver … Dam Eagles R Retarded!!”
The D.C. Department of Employment Services fired a contractor who worked with the city’s youth summer jobs program after a string of TMI Tweets that referred to his job location as “ghetto” and his ability to clock hours without working:
“In america’s ghetto anacostia… If I get scared i will just yell chinese carry out! They will not shoot me.”
“thank goodness my boss is making things easy, he told me to pretend to do work so he can mark me down for hours.”
Defining Your Online Persona
Instead of simply thinking about social networks and social tools as new ways to communicate with friends, family and associates, let’s view these communities as dashboards for our online brand and collective expertise.
Answer these questions: what do you stand for and how would you prefer others, not just friends, but also professional associates, view you today and tomorrow?
Your Brand vs. the Brands You Represent
Therefore, if they are not complementary, then it is you who must transform — and this is why we sometimes must maintain multiple personalities. With that said, however, your personal activity is also definitive and therefore requires cultivation, forethought, self-restraint (think about your update before your click “publish”), and reminders into your value and expertise — even if it isn’t the accounts associated with the brands you represent. Earlier in the chapter, we reviewed cases where people shared what was probably best left for either inner monologue or a discussion with friends offline.