My split-personality Twitter experiment has failed

When I first signed up for Twitter, I created one account for playing around with the service and communicating with friends (@bmk – created 2008-01-10) and a second account for communicating with my colleagues at work (@bkanowsky – created 2008-07-21). After I left my job, I continued to use the “professional” @bkanowsky account to share news about technology, communication, and to a lesser extent, some personal updates. The @bmk account became my outlet for humorous and political expression.

And while I continued to encounter new people and conversations on my @bmk account, the @bkanowsky account quickly stagnated. I would sometimes go days without updating it, or provide only a perfunctory update. I wasn’t creating any value on the stream, and it showed – I never really grew the numbers of the people I followed or who followed me. I received very few replies or direct messages – too often, it was one-way communication.

At the same time, splitting my time and personality between two accounts held back my @bmk account. I don’t think I ever came across as a complete person, since I suppressed many of my other interests to focus on politics.

So, after 2 years, I’m declaring the split-personality experiment a failure. It doesn’t surprise me, since the very idea ignores the most basic advice about being successful with social media – the be yourself.

Over the next week, I’ll be winding down the @bkanowsky account. I’ll still be following many of the same people and making better use of Twitter lists to manage my account.

I’ll post a follow-up in 6 months and see how being my whole self affects my Twitter experience.