Monster’s BeKnown: The dangers of mixing business and pleasure online

Monster India has a new Facebook app. This is not a Farmville or India Against Corruption, but an app to make finding jobs easy. Called BeKnown, the app helps you to connect professionally with your friends. Leaving the obvious oxymoron of connecting professionally with friends aside, Beknown is treading some dangerous waters.

Like all things new I got excited about BeKnown. Not that I wanted to be known but wanted to see how a job seeker can make use of Facebook to find a job. My profile is 30% complete and that’s when I stopped short of completing the profile. The simple thought that went through my mind was, should we mix business with pleasure?

Mixing business with pleasure is a euphemism for yet another saying: Don’t eat where you s***. Yes, Facebook and Twitter have been central to most of our online lives. People are increasingly living their lives online. This is what Facebook wants.

Many people share things. Sometimes thoughtfully and sometimes not so thoughtfully. It is as if there is a new-found freedo,m a new way to express feelings. Facebook is the new megaphone given to almost anyone with half a decent Internet connection.

What everyone should not forget is: Anything shared online is shared for life and searchable too.

I’m sure the team at Monster and Mark Zuckerberg will take care of the privacy settings and what you have shared with your closed group will not be visible to the potential job seeker. What if it isn’t?

What if your comment of “Life sucks monkey balls” or “No effing way”, gets through? What if? Now there is a chance of your potential employer appreciating your sense of humor but not all employers have a sense of humor. Worst of all, finding the right candidate is more or less a process of elimination, I was told. Why make it easy?

And then there is this nifty utility that Zuckerberg came up with called TimeLine. It’s your life – ever since you joined Facebook. Controls will be there but, you know, shit happens.

Facebook already owns more than half of what we do online. You make friends, you poke friends, you watch friends and you grow jealous of your over sharing ones. You consume your news, videos and music too. What’s left? Not much really.

All the activities that you perform today on Facebook are categorized under entertainment. That’s what Facebook is for. Facebook has an audience.

To give you an example, I shared two stories on Facebook: “How a weak rupee will weaken your finances” and “A sari with a pocket for a mobile phone”. Guess which story got a response of any kind?

Of course the Sari with a pocket for mobile phones. That’s what Facebook is primarily used for.

Is there a need for another LinkedIn? Maybe. Should it be built on Facebook? Maybe. Should you use it?

Let me ask you this: Would you friend your boss on Facebook? Or what would you do if your boss friends you on Facebook? I would leave the company and then friend my boss.

Disclaimer: I am not invested in Facebook, Monster or BeKnown. And I am not an investor in any of the competing companies. But I want to be a Venture Capitalist. Why? It’s cool right now. That’s why.