Some people in jobs with sensitive privacy or security issues, as was the case with the individual with whom I was speaking, are compelled to remove themselves from the social networking environment - in some cases, they're forbidden from participating. For others however, the idea of a professional ignoring the social networking environment will soon prove extremely difficult and perhaps damaging in terms of career development.
I think most users of social media tend to find a middle ground, sharing information with a constant awareness of their mixed personal network - and constantly honing a personal brand that serves both work colleagues, friends and family. Finding the limits of TMI - Too Much Information - is tricky.
In my case, while I might share some past and present family photos, I don't tend to broadcast family news on Facebook precisely because I recognize my audience includes colleagues. Some Facebook friends include detailed family updates and expressions of their every passion and outrage. I know more about the lives of vague childhood friends than some of my own family. Others share details of bad work days or difficult colleagues to an extent that makes me wonder if they've thought through the possible consequences.
Are there compromises in creating a universal personal brand? Does your online persona - from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter and beyond - reflect your personal reality? Are we all frauds? Or have we simply been given the tools to present ourselves more accurately to the world at large?