I have been on Twitter since September, 2008 under the name @advocatesstudio. My reasons for joining Twitter were to: (a) jump into another tech pond so that I could see what it was all about; (b) promote my research and writing business; and (c) follow attorneys and legal professionals, hopefully engage in the conversation, and keep a finger on the pulse of where our profession is headed.
I have definitely achieved all of these goals through my Twitter use. However, as time has passed, I have been struggling more and more with the balance between professional tweeting and personal tweeting. I myself enjoy reading the tweets of my professional peers and appreciate banter about their personal interests and lives – that mix is what draws me to particular Twitter users. But I am cognizant that, as in all things, there is a proper balance, the measure of which depends entirely on the forum you are engaged in.
I truly love the law and enjoy research, writing and reasoned analysis. But, let’s face it, that is not the sum of my parts. In school, I enjoyed my studio art classes as much as my logic and calculus classes. I appreciate and have a deep history in art, music, performance and creative writing. But I dilute my message to my legal community by bringing into that forum too much material related to all of the other matters that stir my heart.
I finally faced my on-line multiple personality disorder this weekend. I have created another Twitter account and a separate blog in which I can pursue my more right-brained interests. Rather than overload one Twitter identity with a jarring mix of interests from all edges and ends of the spectrum, I will attempt to slot my interests into appropriate categories and venues. My other identity is @startoestudio and the new blog here on WordPress is Star Toe Studio. I will investigate, explore and report on my artistic interests there.
Does that mean that @advocatesstudio will become a dry, barren husk devoid of all but the law, the whole law and nothing but the law? No way. Not me. But I feel that I can explore all of my interests more deeply and more honestly in two separate identities and outlets.
I am not sure how this will work, as it will definitely increase my time commitment to my on-line pursuits and I certainly have enough in my off-line world to keep me plenty busy. But I think my dilemma is one that many on-line professionals will have to face to some degree sooner or later: how to properly balance the professional and personal. This conundrum is not new – it just seems to be enlarged in the on-line “social” media context.And it gets down to the question of what does “social” really mean?
So, if you are brave, feel free to follow me at @startoestudio or read the blog at Star Toe Studio. Or, you can hang out with my professional self at @advocatesstudio or read all things law, research, professional writing and tech here.
To thine own self be true.