A social networking rant. Tell us who you are, people!

Why do some business people go to such great lengths, on social networking sites, to avoid telling people who they are and what they do? Or to convey such a whimsical image of themselves on serious business platforms?

I’ve just been up-dating my profile on KILTR, a social networking site for Scots or people who have connections or an affinity with Scotland. The job-titles of suggested contacts included a Fire-Starter, a Chief Pixel and a Top Boy. Cringe!

Equally bad are listings that consist of just a name, with no photo, job title or company name. Or a generic title such as “Director”, with no indication of what said Director’s company does or which sector it operates in. On many networking sites, you only get to see members’ full profiles once you’ve made the connection — so we really should take the time to write informative listings.

In fact, having seen so many “Directors” on KILTR, I quickly revised my own listing so that it will, I hope, give people a better idea of what I actually do.

And don’t get me started on Twitter users with protected tweets.

We’re all busy, and there are lots of social networking sites competing for our time and attention. So let’s get to the point and convey direct, clear information. And stop wasting fellow users’ time.

Rant over — normal service will soon be resumed.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  1. What a refreshing perspective, Marian. I do so value straightforward and direct information about who people are and what they do. Maybe I’m just getting old and and not with it – but I like to establish who I’m dealing with and then “get on with it”. I’m sure this is just as important in social media as it is face to face. Thanks for saying it.

      1. You and Paul are sooooo right! It irks me no end when someone follows you on Tweeter and then you find out they have protected tweets… I simply move on – no time to waste.

          1. I don’t remember ever having replied to this, for which I truly, truly apologize, it’s so not like me. Indeed, I still get a couple of these “followers”. If I have to ask their acceptance to me following them, I simply forget about them and move on. I simply don’t get their point. Have a nice weekend!

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