Hey baby, what’s your URL?

The other day, Chris Brogan asked on his blog, should every outward facing employee have a web presence? I responded there, but it’s an interesting enough idea I wanted to bring it back here.

Part of my role as Director of Social Media and Interactive Technology at Worldways is to establish our social media practices and presence. This includes that sort of dream job most social media aficionados love: introducing our passion to those around us. So as I’ve been working on some “intro to social media” guidelines/best practices, I’ve come to this precise issue.

For most people, dipping their toes into social media means first finding some interesting conversation, reading, commenting, and then eventually, possibly, becoming more active and blogging themselves. But it occurred to me that with each comment comes an opportunity to be linking to a URL.

If someone does not have a blog to link to, should they leave that field blank, or is there another URL that they should reference? In the case of my co-workers, who may be planning to establish a more robust online presence, should they create their blog in anticipation of their future endeavours, simply to have somewhere to link to?

I suppose this is one of those questions of what the purpose of the URL is. I’ve seen the same thing on LinkedIn profiles where people have the option to list URLs – some people put their personal sites, others post their company URL. Is the point to offer supplementary information on yourself (according to Joshua Porter, the blog IS the new resume), or your employer?

I see social media as an interesting interplay between personal and professional branding. I use my own email address and URL when I post online, not my work address. Yet my ‘about’ page clearly calls out my professional affiliation. I know that clients have googled me and therefore my personal brand helps to contribute to the overall perception of my employer.

I suppose if one were commenting in relation to their job (current or desired), a link to a LinkedIn profile may be appropriate. I associate the comment with the person’s name, and therefore would want to see more personal information, as opposed to a link to their general company website. But that’s just me; what do you think?