I’ve been struggling for a while about the best way to handle my presence on social media like Facebook and Twitter that balances my personal and work lives. Though there are a spectrum of options, the two primary choices are to have separate accounts for the different aspects of my life (personal, political, real estate, publishing) or one combined account that includes parts of everything instead.
I’ve seen other municipal politicians, such as Mayor-elect Cam Guthrie, have a single combined Twitter account for all his daily activities and handle it quite successfully. Having just one Twitter account would certainly be easier! That said, I believe I would be most comfortable with separate accounts. Not that I’m worried about Guelph residents seeing what “Councillor MacKinnon” posts about in his private life – social media is all public as far as I’m concerned – but I like defining the difference between what I consider a “councillor post” and a “publishing post” and a “private post”. I believe compartmentalisation has a strong and important role to play in my social media dealings so my different feeds won’t get cluttered with information irrelevant to particular individuals who are following. Just because you’re reading this Ward 6 post doesn’t mean you want to hear about how my sons are doing at gymnastics competitions!
Consequently, I will continue my trend of keeping different accounts to cover different topics and aspects of my life. There are times when information may bleed between them but I think this is the right path for me.
Here is a summary of my social media accounts and how I plan to use each of them.
Facebook – Councillor Community Page
This page is explicitly for Guelph issues and covering my work as a councillor. I’ll also crosspost information on this page for people who primarily prefer to use Facebook for their news. Anyone can “like” this page to follow along.
Facebook – Personal Profile
My profile is restricted primarily to my friends and family, though occasionally opened up to work associates as well. I usually don’t accept friend requests from people I don’t know passably well. I post a wide range of topics on my Facebook page, with a strong emphasis on my family activities.
Facebook – Dyskami Publishing Page
This page is explicitly for my board game publishing venture, Dyskami Publishing Company, where I will post news and updates about our current and upcoming games. Anyone can “like” this page to follow along.
Twitter – Councillor Profile (@ward6mark)
My councillor Twitter account will be where I’ll be most active on social media for local politics. Following this account is the best way to stay current and informed about my municipal role and important local events.
Twitter – Personal Profile (@hulkinapuddle)
This is my public (and eclectic) Twitter account, used to connect to friends and acquaintances from across the spectrum. I don’t post frequently from here, but if I have something to say that’s not specifically about Guelph politics or game publishing it will appear here.
Twitter – Dyskami Publishing (@dyskami)
Used exclusively for engaging about my board game ventures, I won’t be Tweeting frequently from this Twitter account.
Websites – Ward Six Guelph News, Real Estate, Dyskami Publishing
Three separate websites that push very different information. This site will be updated the most frequently as I post about issues important to Guelph residents (with a focus on Ward 6) and maintain a record of my council and committee votes.
BONUS: #GuelphTraffic Twitter account (@trafficguelph)
There was a need for this account – a crowdsource for traffic alerts – in Guelph so I created it. This account retweets any post mentioning the #guelphtraffic hashtag, serving as an aggregate for accidents, delays, and other traffic issues across the city. The more people that use it the more valuable it will become to everyone ... to be sure to follow and use it!