Say “cheese” for social networking

by Viv on October 16, 2009

I’ve recently been leading an internal knowledge management project. Part of the technology of the portal allows social networking e.g. forums. As staff all have profiles on the portal, we communicated the expectation that people would post a photo of themselves on their profile…it makes communication feel a whole lot less impersonal that email. There are some obvious reasons why you’d want your photo there e.g. it raises your profile in the organisation, increases the chances that people will remember your name. So the percentage of people who have done this within the first 2 weeks was…


This was a lot lower than I had expected. Posting up a photo is not exactly difficult and should take all of 20 seconds. My first hypothesis was that people’s reluctance to post a photo of themselves was down to it being a work thing. So I took a straw poll of my Instant Messenger contacts. The results were:

  • 15% photos of just themselves
  • 15% photos with someone else
  • 10% photos of something else
  • 60% no photo uploaded.

So I’m now working on the basis that people are just self-conscious about putting their photos up. Maybe it’s because people’s own photos compare unfavourably with the images we see in the media which have been professionally taken, lit well and given a hefty sprinkling of Photoshop magic?

I’m just relieved that I managed to get some good photos of me taken before the bags under my eyes really began to kick in…

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