In an apparent effort to throw some competition at Linked In, Facebook has started it’s own professional networking site-within-a-site. If you haven’t seen it or been invited to join, it is called BranchOut. I can’t speak knowledgeably enough about it to tell you whether or not it is more or less worthwhile than Linked In, but there is one interesting aspect to it that put it at the top of my social media list:
It gave me an Empire.
I realized this after I signed up and I started getting notifications that other people had joined my BranchOut network. The notification said:
“John Doe (not his real name) has joined your empire on BranchOut.
“I have an empire?” I chuckled to myself. “COOL!!!”
This is not actually my first empire. I do have a home empire. However, no one but the dog really qualifies as a loyal subject, and honestly, he’s only in it for the milk bones. This being the case, I was very stoked to find out that I had a new, official empire, even if it were only a virtual one.
I soon realized though, that I had some confusion about the nature of my empire. I wasn’t sure if it was a dark Galactic empire or a virtuous Jedi empire. Given the choice, I would rather use my Stay at Home Mom Force for good over evil. Of course, there are certainly times when I am tempted to go over to the dark side, such as when I find my husband’s socks on the floor and I feel this overwhelming urge to let the dog use them as chew toys. But in general, I think that I’d rather hang with Wookies and Ewoks than Siths and Stormtroopers.
Since this was a professional empire, I assumed I could only network with like-minded Jedi. This could present some challenges. I was concerned that my empire was going to be limited to Queen Amidala (she did have two kids, like me, although she died in childbirth so I’m not sure she qualifies as either a Stay at Home Mom or someone I can link with professionally since she is dead, never mind that fact that she is a fictional character). Jabba the Hutt, an alien crime lord, had a little known job on the side as a humor columnist, just like me, but I’m not sure it really benefits me to have a giant slug in my professional empire.
Realizing that the success of my empire was probably contingent on the strength of my Force, I decided it would be in my best interest to develop my powers in that area before branching out too extensively in BranchOut. As a mom, I already have eyes in the back of my head and a certain amount of ESP when it comes to knowing what dastardly plans lurk in the minds of my children. However, my ability to wield a light saber and control minds is severely limited and I thought I might have to invest some money in a career coach, such as Yoda, to help me get to a more advantageous place in my professional empire.
Interestingly enough, when I went to my BranchOut home page to check on the progress of my empire, I found a message from the supreme ruler of the Facebook empire, himself. He told me that while all of my professional information from Facebook would be carried over to BranchOut, I did not have to worry about any embarrassing wall posts or photos from my Facebook page appearing on my BranchOut profile. That was a relief. Now I know that no one in my professional empire will ever see me in a bikini and harem pants curled up next to Jabba the Hutt.