Saturday, 2 July 2011

Thing 3: consider your personal brand

I don't really have much of an online presence yet, but I did consider some of the things in Jo's post before I unleashed this blog. Like Jo it took me a long time to decide on a name for the blog because I wanted it to reflect something of myself professionally and be memorable. I have a nickname which I've used for a long time for my personal email and on forums and things like that, but I've gone for my real name here as I think it sounds better and I'd like people to know it's me straight off. I also went with a real photo of me, and yes, it was taken specially because I didn't have a decent recent photo of just me. In terms of consistency there's not much to be consistent with so far (the rest of the things will add to that), but I'm conscious of starting as I mean to go on. The whole personal/professional thing is interesting too. I haven't written much yet, but I'm hoping something of my personal identity will come across in writing about professional stuff. When I look at other people's blogs it's definitely a good thing when their personality is evident as it makes it much more interesting to read, and I think it's ok to mix a bit of personal with professional.

My name is pretty common, and searching for just my name on Google doesn't bring up anything at all about me. There's a British athlete called Gemma Bennett so she comes up quite a bit, along with other LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. Adding in 'library' does make me the first three results, in a different browser, which I was surprised by. The first is a page from our old library web pages which we don't use anymore, listing me as the adviser for Engineering. This is a bit annoying as I wouldn't actually want people to find this page as it's old information now. We use Sharepoint now within the college, so the homepage of our old website now just has general information and points college members towards the Portal. Obviously the old pages are still accessible through search engines though. I'll have to mention this at work and see what others think.

The second result is a presentation I made on the Prezi site to teach students about Harvard Referencing, and the third is the profile page for this blog, which is great. Not much so far, but things I'm happy for people to find. My Facebook profile doesn't appear in the first few pages of results. I'm not a heavy user of Facebook anyway, but I've definitely been aware of what I put on there and whether I'd be happy for others to see it (although my privacy settings are fairly locked down). The idea that nothing you put online ever truly disappears is a little scary, and one I'm not sure a lot of our students consider.

I'll be keeping an eye on this as the programme goes on and it will be interesting to see how searches change. That makes me sound vain, but I do think that online brand, or identity, is important and I want to know what's going on! 

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