Listen to Ben’s gut: Who are you in cyberspace?
Given my propensity for transparency in social media, and what I perceive to be a backlash against marketing in the social networking arena, I think I would advise that individuals who want to involve their organizations in social networking view their participation as something they do as an individual on behalf of their organization.
When representing your association at a conference, you dont introduce yourself as your association. Why would you do this in a social networking setting?
In other words, if you want to represent your association in MySpace or Second Life, sign up as yourself with your own name, age, sex, marital status and weave information on your association throughout your profile. Be an agent of the association, not the association itself.
I have absolutely nothing to base this on except gut instinct.
My gut agrees with Ben’s. Social networking online is about individuals interacting. Therefore, you or your advocates must interact with others as individuals by being genuine and reasonably articulate about why your organization matters and why others should care.
You should only talk about the organization a little bit as well (this applies more so to avatar-based simulations). You don’t want to be the life insurance sales person at a cocktail party who refuses to talk about anything other than securing your family’s future.