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If you go to Robert Scoble's blog, to the right you'll see a widget he has added that streams tweets from people on his Twitter lists. And in a round-about way, this is one of the reasons why I am spending less time on Twitter these days.

As many people do, I use Twitter primarily as a tool to connect with other people. Now for the most part, I'd always had some so-called unwritten rules about my Twitter usage. The main one was that time spent on Twitter during 'business hours' was mainly for business usage, while time spent 'after hours', or on the weekend, I would give myself leeway to use Twitter more as a chat facilitator to talk about pretty much whatever I wanted.
But I noticed that clients and companies that contacted me about work would, on occasion, reference my tweets made during my 'personal' time. Nothing shocking, it might be someone saying they didn't realize I was a Bama fan, or that they also liked Flash Forward, but it made me realize that the people that are following the content I create on Twitter, and on any social site, don't understand my unwritten rules. They are basically approaching the content I create (and the content we all create), as a channel.
And I think this is an important point for us to remember. I'm constantly having people that work in this space ask me who they should be following. If I tell them to follow Jason, and Jason has one INCREDIBLY profound business tweet once every 2 weeks, my friends might not stick with Jason's tweets, and might begin to question my judgment in recommending them.
Yes, the very name 'social media' implies that interaction is going to take place. But we have to remember that so many people simply want to consume content, not interact with it. To these people, they look at us as being content channels, and nothing more.
Am I saying that we should change how we use social media in order to placate others? Absolutely not, but I am saying that I do think we should be aware of the content we are creating, and how it is being received, and by who. If you're primarily using your blog as a tool to get more sales, but also like a good political rant every once in a while, you have to consider that your potential customer might not like your rant about how much their political party of choice is dead wrong.
So for now, I am using Twitter more for business, and less overall. How are you using Twitter and other sites? Is one for business, the other for personal, or do you mix the two? How do you manage different sites being used in different ways?

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image of Mack Collier

Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier