Sharing too much

An article on Bloomberg yesterday, called Hewlett-Packard Shows Hazard of Sharing LinkedIn Profiles: Tech, showcases potential negative effects of sharing too much on social networks.   Our posts, tweets, and status updates could inevitably be monitored by our employers competitors according to the article.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) Vice President Scott McClellan gave away more than his job status when he mentioned the computer maker’s new Web-storage initiative in his profile on LinkedIn Corp., a professional-networking site.

While I was already wise to our current employer taking a look, or future employers as part of a screening process, the level which outsiders could pay attention to them was only a small thought. 

As workers put more information about their lives online through status updates, location check-ins and resume changes, employers are more at risk of competitors watching their every move.

Understandably, the VP of Hewlett-Packard no doubt has more people with an interest in following his updates then someone further down the chain like myself; however, as the quote above gives mention to even someone such as myself could reveal valuable information.  This becomes even more true as the information can be aggregated with others to get a real sense of what is going on inside of a company.  A company here in India had chosen to follow 20 other companies using social media as a study, using employees LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

At one of the companies, workers began to indicate in their postings that business was slow around October 2010.

“We could sense that they were edgy about something,” Sonwane said. A few months later, a vice president wrote in a LinkedIn status update that he was looking for a new job. When his followers asked why, he responded that the company was about to file for bankruptcy — which it did less than six months later, Sonwane said. He declined to identify any of the companies in the study.

While a wise onlooker may be able to see trends like this without the help of social media it would probably be wise to limit their access.

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