What happens to your social media profile when you change jobs? Recently, the BBC’s Laura Kunessberg announced she was heading off to ITV.
As you've discovered I will become @ITVLauraK in September! Thanks for all the lovely tweets – Back in Westminster tomorrow
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 22, 2011
Which got me wondering.
Why doesn't @BBCLauraK simply rename her account to @ITVLauraK in September? Or are her followers the BBC's property?
— Terence Eden (@edent) June 22, 2011
Twitter allows any user to change their name and keep all their followers. All of Laura’s followers, friends, favourites, tweets, retweets, and lists will dissapear when she swaps to a new account.
Or will they? Is @BBCLauraK the twitter account for the BBC’s Chief Political Correspondent? Or is it Laura’s account?
If the former, I’d expect it to be taken over by her successor and renamed @BBCgordonGopher (or whoever).
If the latter, it makes sense for her to rename the account to @ITVlauraK (or whatever).
Looking at her feed, it’s broadcast only with almost no “personal” tweets. Certainly no “Urgh, hungover” or “Trains late again!” tweets.
So, it probably makes sense for Laura to hand over control of the account when she leaves.
Impact On You
How much work tweeting do you do from your Twitter account? If you left your job, would your bosses be able to demand you surrender the account to them?
Sure, if you’re tweeting from @NameOfYourCompany – it’s their account. But if you’re @CompanyName_Bob – do you get to keep it when you go? What if you’re just @You – and you tweet about the company you work for – what happens to all that good-will when you go?
Work Phone vs Work Email
When I first joined Vodafone nearly a decade ago, I was given a mobile phone number. Our office was quite revolutionary because there we no desk phones! Of course not; we were in the mobile phone business.
This confused some people greatly. I’d give them my number and they’d say “yes, but how can I reach you at your desk?”
And I’d say “Errrr…. I always have my mobile with me. Assuming it’s me you want to reach, ring that number. Why would you want to talk to someone who happened to be sitting near where I work?”
Since then, I’ve kept the same mobile number. If you want to reach me – that’s the number you call. No matter who I end up working for, that’s my number. When I move roles, I take my number with me. When I leave a job, I take my number with me.
Yet I don’t take my email address with me. Mails to firstname.lastname@example.org will go unanswered – I hope!
I can understand that – I don’t want confidential documents forwarded to me. The domain name would make it look like I was still affiliated with an old employer.
But my phone number comes to me, Terence Eden. Wherever I am. Whoever I work for.
My Twitter account – @edent – is personal. It’s mine. No boss can take it away from me.
What about yours?