Over the last year both locally here in Shropshire and indeed globally, social networking has reached a new level. No longer is it just geeks in a darkened room but business leaders, celebrities and high profile corporations.

Locally businesses have had scores of workshops and presentations on social networking via the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and other organisations. The local number of Twitter users has exploded, but are people being too social with their social network?

As the name rightly suggests, social networking is about being social and rolling up to shout about what you want to sell won’t work. You have to build relationships, engage with people and develop trust, respect and authority.

The problem arises when it gets a little too social, things get out of hand and suddenly your online world becomes a real nightmare.  If only you could turn it on and off with your computer!

Uploading compromising photographs or inviting people to your Mafia Wars game will kill your credibility. What you post on the Internet defines who you are to the rest of the world, via photo, video, or simply 140 characters of text.

The message is simple. If you wouldn’t want it on the front page of the press, don’t post it on Twitter or Facebook.  To control who can social network within your organisation, get a policy from your HR professional and then talk to your IT professional about some Internet filtering.