ThinkUp: How You Really Look On Social Networks - InformationWeek

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ThinkUp: How You Really Look On Social Networks

How do you look to recruiters and hiring managers based on social activity? This service aims to make you more aware of your Facebook and Twitter activity.

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Though hiring managers continue to debate whether or not candidates' social media activity should influence hiring decisions, the practice is still prevalent: According to a CareerBuilder survey, nearly 39% of employers admitted that they use social networking sites to research job candidates. Of those, 43% said that what they found impacted their decision not to hire a candidate.

But even though many of us do our best to lock down privacy settings and censor what we share, there's still a great deal that others can glean from our activity. One startup, ThinkUp, aims to make us more aware of our digital alter egos.

ThinkUp connects to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to analyze your activity and -- for better or for worse -- gives you a broad picture of your social networking habits. Every day, for example, the service emails you observations about your activity and reminds you that what you say and do on Facebook and Twitter can impact you and others.

[Check out last year's worst of the worst. Read Top 10 Social Network Blunders Of 2014.]

The data points that ThinkUp surfaces are broad, from the typical follower and friend count updates to other intricacies of your activity that could indicate how others might view you -- from social media obsessed to self-centered.

For example, ThinkUp tells you how much time you spend posting things online ("At 15 seconds per tweet, that amounts to 1 day, 2 hours, and 10 minutes"); whether you get more responses from men or women; how often you talk about yourself ("17% of your tweets contained the words I, me, my, mine, or myself"); and even how often you say thanks ("You tweeted 11 thank-yous last month").

It'll also show you fluffier insights, such as which of your friends was "your biggest fan" on Facebook last week, based on the person's number of interactions with you. And it will give you a retrospective look at a post from a year ago.

The idea, the company says, is to give you the tools you need to rethink how you spend your time on social media and, hopefully, prevent faux pas like rants and off-the-cuff comments that could damage your reputation, professional or otherwise.

"We built ThinkUp to help you get more meaning from the time you spend on your social networks," the company said. Co-founder Gina Trapani told The New York Times that its ultimate goal is "to create mindfulness and awareness, and also behavioral change."

ThinkUp charges users $5 per month for its insights, but it offers a 14-day free trial. Though it connects only to your Facebook and Twitter accounts right now, the company says it's working on Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ integration, too.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Jim Donahue
Jim Donahue,
User Rank: Strategist
1/5/2015 | 2:18:45 PM
General rule
Although I have my privacy settings locked down pretty tight, I make it a general rule to ask myself before posting: Am I OK with the entire world seeing this?


And if the answer is no, I don't post it. I've been on social media for a decade if you count blogs, and I think I've had second thoughts about a post and taken it down maybe three occasions the entire time.
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2015 | 2:38:11 PM
Re: General rule
They might come a time when it is absolutely vital to link a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ account while sending out a resume. 

It might be a good thing since it will give employers a timeline and a point of references to decide whether an individual is a good fit for the job requirement, but only if it enables to unearth the truth. However, if individuals manage to game the system then social media as a point of reference will never be widely used.
User Rank: Author
1/5/2015 | 3:52:40 PM
how much is too much
This is an interesting idea, yet I wonder the same thing I do about Klout's opinion of my social "stardom": Says who? Who says what is a good or bad amount of tweeting about yourself? Or how many thank you's are too many or too few? I know brilliant tech people who tweet constantly and others who rarely tweet...we don't all have to fit the same numbers mold. Right?
Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2015 | 10:18:59 PM
Re: how much is too much
It heavily depends on people's habits. Some people gain a lot of information from social networks and accomplish many things via social networks. While others prefer to focus on things in hand and consider playing social networking is time/energy consuming. The statistics provide good sense about trend but for individuals, there is no need to fit into one mold.
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 9:57:51 AM
Re: General rule
I think a lot of people should follow your guideline, specially, millenials.  Putting all your movements, ideas and personal thoughts for all to see in social media is something that should be constrain.  There is some information which should be kept in the private sphere outside social media.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/6/2015 | 10:36:39 AM
When and What
In the 10,000 tweet example, this would be one or two tweets per waking hour.  If one's tweets are clustered during the work day, are the tweets work related or more social?  Taking a lot of time from the work day to read and respond to tweets would indicate a focus problem.  So content and timing matter. 
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2015 | 3:32:59 PM
Re: General rule
I agree.  The luxury that most of us grew up in a limited technological age (ie grew up without the Internet and cell phones!) gives us the benefit of luckily having missed a lot of the mistakes that a lot of millenials are dealing with right now.  Being young and thinking that you have a right to post anything without fear of consequence is a very new problem that realistically is a result of younger generations being the first fully-connected social groups.  Throw in inexperience, and the typical rebel behaviour that all generations get, and well, the poor youth have a hard awakening.  As they get into the full-fledged work force, services like ThinkUp should be a great reminder that yeah, those stupid comments that you thought were awesome at the time, probably doesn't reflect the best on you to potential employers. 
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2015 | 12:02:23 PM
Re: General rule
I completelly agree.   I think that there is a lack of education on millennials on what the information they should disclose on social media, I'm not sure whether parents or school should provide such training.  But, they need the "social media talk" sooner than later.  If something such a silly post could impact your future employment to a dream job, it is something worth paying attention

User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2015 | 11:18:24 AM
Re: Think Up: How You Really Look On Social Networks
I believe if you are not sure if you should post something on social media- DON'T! Anything you post can be misconstrued and used against you. I have my privacy settings locked tight, but you never know what can get leaked.
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