On a daily basis, I continue to uncover, discover and appreciate all the benefits of e-communication.

I started the Legal Watercooler for two main reasons: 1) to provoke conversations that I just don’t see happening anywhere else in the blogosphere, but I know we’re all having off-line; and, 2) to understand how blogging works so I can walk my attorneys through it later this year. All it took was a little encouragement from Jayne Navarre and a really slow day to get this started.
What I didn’t expect would be the strange feeling that somebody’s watching me. A lot of my musings are just my thoughts, which are now broadcast out to God only knows who. It’s bizarre to bump into someone at an event, or answer the phone, and realize that you’re picking up a conversation in the middle, because they already know what you’re thinking.

But, it’s not just the blog. It’s rolled over to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Legal OnRamp and my newest social network, Triiibes. These networks are all coming together seamlessly and providing the “plan” for my personal marketing endeavors. These on-line tools are providing me the means for my “know, like, trust” model.

So, not knowing who is watching me keeps me on my toes. And while my my Facebook and Twitter are personal, I keep them professional. This is a place where my business contacts can get a more holistic view of who I am. No “mom’s gone wild” here (sorry). I can never let down my guard so far that I forget that someone I work with, someone who might hire me, someone who might refer me to something beneficial has easy access to this information.

At the same time, I cannot censor myself to the point that I paint a false portrait of who I am, or am not true to what I believe.

And, while I begin adding my personal friends and family to my social networking, I now need to keep in mind that they will be exposed to my professional colleagues, and vice versa. When I update the photos in my Facebook or play some silly game, I think about my professional colleagues. When I post a Twitter update or a question on LinkedIn, I keep in mind, my professional colleagues. When I accept a new friend I keep in mind everyone.

This became crystal clear to me when I received a Facebook invite over the weekend from someone I went to high school with. Ugh. Does anyone really want to get an e-mail from some random guy from high school? Nevertheless, I took a look at this guy’s personal profile. Who knows? Maybe he’s now mature and a professional, career focused guy who would make a great addition to the conversation. Let’s just say I immediately deleted the invite to be friends. It was wrong in sooooo many ways.