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Transparency: How Much is Too Much?

March 7th, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk offers this piece of advice:

The only way to succeed now is to be completely transparent, everything is exposed, everything you do – Gary Vaynerchuk

For most web / knowledge workers, transparency is key to cultivating an online presence – today, your online presence (your Google search results) is your resume, everything you do online is fair game – your search results (or lack of results) generally reflect whether you're an overall good-person, experienced, or a bit outdated.

A reassessment: last month the faltering economy finally hit home – I was out of work. While search for a new job, I was surprised that most potential employers (nearly all) were looking me up on Google. From Google they'd land on my blog, my Twitter account, flickr, and so on. In one of my interviews I was told of an unfortunate candidate that had questionable content and photos online – this was a deciding factor in his no-hire decision. This had me feeling a little uncomfortable and begged for a reassessment of my level of transparency.

Randy Pausch once said:

I'll [hire] an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short-term, earnest is long term – Randy Pausch

I echo Randy's sentiments. If you're an earnest, authentic, and good natured person, then transparency can be a huge asset. You should be exposing everything you do! Well… maybe not everything, there's little value in knowing what you ate for lunch, or when you're sleeping / awake – practicing some self moderation and making use of your inner monologue is recommended, because excessive transparency can bleed into white noise.

no matter what remember the web is NOT Las Vegas. What happens on the web does NOT stay on the web. I'll bet this guy wishes he'd have remembered that. – Arcanecode, Guard your credibility

With applications like Twitter and Facebook it's easier than ever to be transparent, but do we run the risk of being too transparent? How much is too much?

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Interview, Musings, Personal, Twitter Tags: