Saturday, July 3, 2010

(Stuff) your dad tweets - putting family information in Twitter profiles

When I was looking at Twitter profiles today, I observed that a lot of people in business made a point of saying that they were a husband and/or father. When I shared my observation on FriendFeed, I received some feedback from Caroline (@thevixy) regarding the reasons.

fatherhood. family life.. gives the consumer a feeling that they are investing in a stable "portfolio" something they can relate to , WHERE AS the constant playboy.. at 35-45 is not stable. not someone you would take seriously.

someone could make the distinction that the family man keeps regular sleeping hours. were as the bachelor. might be up drinking or partying and sleeping with different women..every night , some people may not find the trait desirable.

This raised a question in my head - which Twitter users are more apt to advertise themselves as husbands and/or fathers? I therefore conducted a completely unscientific survey (yup, I did a Google search).

The first profile that came up, that of @ThomRainer, was for the president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources. There's no doubt that the stability mentioned by Caroline is important to his target market. (Although it's interesting to note that many Christians, including myself, believe that neither Jesus nor Paul were husbands or fathers.) In a similar vein, @mikepfs is a self-declared "Father,Christian, Conservative , Tech Geek #TCOT."

Outside of the religious and political realms, it seems that a lot of authors declare themselves to be husbands and/or fathers. @joelcomm, @kentbeck, @essdogg (although he's the author of a book for grooms), and @shoemoney all fit into this category.

Non-author husbands and/or fathers include developer @dimensionmedia, musician @richpalmer, actor @ryan_phillippe, and work-at-home @shirlandc69.

Among my circle, it's interesting to note that neither @louisgray nor @scobleizer mention their fatherhood on their Twitter profiles. Not that they aren't proud of their kids - Louis shares pictures of his twins online, and (as I've previously noted) Scoble's work as Mr. Train Simulator was actually a joint effort with his then 6-year old son. Yet when each of these people wrote their Twitter profile text, they chose to mention other things.

For the record, my Twitter profile doesn't mention that I'm a father. Why not? First, let's see what my profile does say:

# Bio John E. Bredehoft account for Empoprises vertical information services (business, music, Inland Empire, NTN Buzztime)

In my view, my status as a father does not directly affect the four subject areas that Empoprises covers. Now perhaps if my music blog focused on children's music, I'd think differently.

It's interesting to compare Twitter profiles with resumes, since if you use your Twitter account for business, the profile functions as a resume of sorts. And for resumes, you often don't talk about being a husband or father:

Marital Status doesn't need to be included in today's CV, although for specific jobs it can be helpful to be up-front about this. For instance, if the job you're applying for involves unsociable hours or lots of travel, stating that you are single could be advantageous. This may not seem fair on the grounds of discrimination, but it's as well to be realistic about the concerns that might rightly or wrongly be in the employer's mind.

On the other hand, it might not be appropriate to compare resumes and Twitter profiles, since you complete a resume when you want to work for someone else, and many (but not all) of the Twitter profiles that I cited are for people who are working for themselves (or, in the cases of Scoble and Gray, for people who work for others yet also actively maintain an independent personal presence).

So, if you have a Twitter account, do you include personal details such as your marital status? Why or why not?
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