LinkedIn vs. Facebook

Ever since I joined Facebook just a few months back I have been in a constant dilemma about friend requests from colleagues, business partners and other people that I work with or have worked with. The reason it took me so long to join Facebook to begin with was that I knew that I eventually had to decide on how to treat this, for me, new social network. Joining Facebook didn’t make it easier for me – quite the opposite. I now have a long list of friend requests from people that I work with or may get to work with at some point. I want and need to deal with these in some fashion.

The way I have chosen to deal with these friend requests is to disregard any friend request on Facebook from people that I work with or might, no matter how slim the possibility, get to work it. I don’t do this to be mean or anything. I simply want a social network where I can share information with my wife, family and “real” friends. Not that I don’t consider many of the people I work with friends – they’re just in that other category of friends. I would like to have a place where I can post comments and pictures where those not in the know, or with other points of view, might get the wrong idea. I would like a place where I can be myself.

Making this decision about Facebook also made me look more carefully into LinkedIn. It means that I will now use Linkedin for all those business connections. Much as I have in the past. I will of course also continue to use the various Lotus Conenctions sites available out these as well. So if you want to hook up with me with catch me on LinkedIn.

I would love to hear how you have decided to deal with the proliferation of social networks and where you draw the line between your personal and professional life.

9 thoughts on “LinkedIn vs. Facebook”

  1. Interesting topic, what it has come down to for me is what are you trying to accomplish with these tools.  LinkedIn is a great resource that I use to not only connect to people but keep track of them as they change jobs, roles, etc.. but I find for the most part LinkedIn to be a very static environment, the data only changes when a person changes roles or jobs.

    Facebook tends to be a lot more dynamic with photos, status updates, comments etc.., because of this I find it very useful to be friends on facebook even with people who my association with is professional, it first allows me to keep up with them on a more regular basis, and second gives me the ability to catch up on their lives if I know I am going to see them.  It also makes me more recognizable to others when attending conferences etc.

    So while I think your logic is what the creators of Facebook and LinkedIn probably intended, I think the advantages of using Facebook beyond just "friends" outweighs the negatives.


  2. You’re right – part of what I probably neglected to mention is how much I use Twitter for those status updates. I agree that LinkedIn tend to be very static which is probably why they recently  tried to grab some Twitter-love by adding Twitter handles to the profiles. I use Twitter extensively to keep up to date what my network is doing right now.


  3. That’s pretty much the way I deal with it, too — thought everyone did it that way (if they aren’t, they need to!).

    I keep Facebook for friends and family — no one I work with gets access to my Facebook.


  4. Hi Mikkel – I have to agree with you on this.  I strictly use Facebook as a "personal" outlet, whereas my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts I use for my professional life.  I also have an area on my website that is "hidden" where my family and I post photos, blog about family life, etc.

    Glad to hear that I am not alone on this!


  5. Sorry about that linkedin request 🙂

    Seriously though I generally accept everyone on linkedin because more pepole brings more opportunity for me and for me to bring to others.Facebook i started out just having family and friends and then decided I ONLY wanted Lotus/IBM related people on there.

    So I do not accept Facebook requests from Linkedin people unless they are Lotus/IBM related.

    As to clients, well, to each their own, I have 1 or 2 on Facebook but rarely get asked.


  6. Great topic and one I’ve struggled for a while with.  LinkedIn has always been for my business contacts.  I use it to help find new business and/or help others in need of a job.

    Facebook, I’m still not sure how I plan to use it.  I started out with an account because of a group started a year or so ago for Blogger and trying to generate interest around Lotusphere.  I’ve got a mix of friends, family and Lotus IBM contacts that I deal with more regularly than just an occasional contact (much like my LinkedIn contacts).  However, I don’t really use it to share anything personal about myself just yet.


  7. I’ve been using LinkedIn just for a couple of month. But using it solely for business friends and contacts. That’s its purpose.

    This for me is already more ‘connection’ then I need. I don’t even consider adding another social network like FaceBook.


  8. Well it´s an interesting discussion. To me LinkedIn add´s very little value. Why bother updating something if you are not really using it. So I am left with basically to options, Facebook or Twitter. To me Facebook is ideal. I can share, track and follow "friends" and associates. And to me my Facebook friends are not nessecarily my closest friends but people I care about and interact with on a regular basis.

    Twitter to me is still a mystery. I do not think I will ever really get hooked (Mikkel: I know I got the iPhone but that´s different :-)) on that. To me it simply to fragmentet and a lot like playing with the old walkie talkie. Spreading and sometimes receiving 🙂

    As for sharing with collegues. Well I spend at least 8 hours with my collegues a day and in general they know more about me than I would ever publish on Facebook anyways.


  9. Hi Mikkel, I try to do the exact same thing. It works very well with LinkedIn but it’s starting to slip with regards to using Facebook for family and real life friends only.

    I used to "ignore" friend requests from business contacts politely by sending them an explanation and direct them to Linked but now I have some Facebook friends who are actually business contacts (and whom I have never met in real life).

    In most cases my business contacts on Facebook are English speaking so as long as I use Danish for my Facebook updates I should be okay 🙂

    Perhaps it’s a good sign that the social networks starts to overlap?


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