Hi Paul Ford. Got to admit, I’m so new to Medium that I’m not even sure I’m doing this right — hopefully, you’ll see this comment!
Ev Williams, I just have to interrupt myself here: this is my first comment, first time using the app, although I’ve technically had a Medium account for a while, and I am /so/ impressed. (I’ll be even more impressed if my slash-parentheses on ‘so’ make it italicised. I can see how to emphasise and quote-block text, but not format.) The interface is lovely and just look at that m-dash! Beautiful.
Anyway, Paul. Your comments about the personal vs. professional resonate with me. My Twitter identify has been an interesting journey so far — still ongoing; presumably always will be — finding the balance between work and personal. Following my company’s social media guidelines, I’m open about the fact I work there, and there’s a reason I tweet in my own name: I’m proud of that, and said company’s commitment to small businesses and startups genuinely intersects with my own beliefs and values. But for all I do retweet corporate, and I do go out and find information myself which is relevant to the SME sector, that’s far from all I am. I’m also an amateur photographer, a wannabe writer, and I run a weekly Twitter chat (and indeed separate Twitter account from which to do so) for people whose gender falls outside the binary.
That last in itself is an interesting and sometimes frightening concept, given the lack of understanding of nonbinary identities and the fact that, though it’s much, much better than even when I entered the employment market about a decade ago, there’s still some stigma potentially attached to being anywhere on the LGBT spectrum. (I should add, having just said all that about my work, and given the fact that you can easily find the company of you so wish, I’ve never had any problems or a single note of hostility there —but not everyone is so lucky. And I have no intention of moving at present, but what if someday I do, and having been out on social platforms all this time prejudices future employers against me?)
This comment has become more about me and my circumstances than I originally intended, but what I really wanted to say was thank you for reminding me I’m not the only one who had those struggles and worries and works to find a personal/professional balance in a space like Medium or Twitter. I’ll be following your writing with interest, and again, thank you!