Apparently, every time I send an email from my McKinsey email address, and someone uses Outlook to view the email, they see my current Facebook profile image–a picture of me dressed up as a knight from Halloween, some 15 years ago. I’d never noticed this, as a Lotus Notes and Gmail user, so it was a bit of a surprise to be peering over a client’s shoulder and seeing my profile picture pop-up.
I thought that leaving my Facebook image public was harmless. And I still don’t mind if someone who searches for my name finds it. Images on Facebook are expected to be less formal. But Outlook doesn’t make the source of the images really clear, and I can imagine that some of the more staid executives I’ve worked with wouldn’t be too amused by the image, and potentially see it as a signal of immaturity.
I’d say that removing my work email is the main solution, or I could just set my profile picture to private, or change it to something that’s better suited to work. Facebook encourages adding email addresses though (which are used to verify your network), and I see Facebook as my non-professional network. So none of the options seems perfect.
Thoughts / suggestions? Am I missing anything here?
LinkedIn has a great tool which visualizes your connections. These connections–when you have enough of them, start forming networks. In my chart, the whole left area is Swarthmore — but there are clear separate networks for 2009, >2009, and <2009. I also find it telling that my family is large enough to get its own separate network placement.
You can view the whole thing here.
While driving back from Tahoe with Daniel, we discussed the most recent Carnival of Journalism prompt. Daniel argued that news organizations are missing out on a huge opportunity to serve as data providers, rather than journalism providers–that their role in aggregating and explaining stories is important, but they’d probably be better served by making as much of the underlying data as possible available.
This makes some sense to me. I can imagine lots of organizations that would love reasonably organized data–particularly the more human and local data that news organizations could lead in. Nearly every study I’ve worked in at McKinsey would benefit from this kind of intelligence–trying to discern trends in consumer behavior is a huge part of being successful in businesses these days.
However, in the vast majority of situations, the real problem for companies isn’t having too little data. Big databases like StatsCan provide fantastic and detailed data sources. NPD, IPR, and a host of other data-gathering organizations compile and measure reports on huge numbers of subjects. And companies pay tens of thousands of dollars to get access to this information. But once they have it, many of them don’t use it in an effective manner.
I think that the rise of internal consulting / biz-ops groups is an effort to make use of the huge amount of data out there, but it seems that (even when these groups exist) this role is passed to external companies. It used to be that McKinsey was hired to find and compile data–these days, we’re just given access to massive internal databases, and have to make and find meaning.
This kind of work can vary radically from business to business, so I can imagine how it would be very difficult to create some kind of standardized process for finding useful information.
I’m not clear how newspapers can create useful meaning from their data sources for people willing to pay for it without becoming more like consultants than journalists–and I find it hard to imagine my local newspaper acting as a businesses advisor for a small-town pizza shop, even if they have information which could, with the proper presentation and data-mining, be pretty useful in guiding decision making.