Exactly one year ago, i decided to take a professional look at my online presence, especially because I had the opportunity to start as a senior consultant at a large corporation. And one of the first things I noticed, was how “social” the organization was, social here meaning Web 2.0’ish… J, they had both Yammer, experts blogging and tweeting and overall the organization encouraged a “social web” existence, both internally (knowledge sharing, Instant communications, etc…) as well as externally.
I therefore decided to take a look at how my profile presented itself online, at first because I was curious but also because I sensed a somewhat encouragement from my new employer, this was a “thing” looked upon with positive eyes, so to speak J.
Not that I hadn’t paid any attention to this through the years, but there were a lot of the services and technologies in the Social Web, i had not looked into, from a professional point of view.
To have an idea about where to start my project, I did what most people know how to, I Googled myself and found that a professor with the exact same name as mine was, not surprising, more popular than me and had the first results pages all to himself.
Besides the nuisance this was from a personal point of view :-), I also thought about how an online presence at first needs to be found to be heard. So that gave me my goal, to be featured on that first results page.
He was also rather haphazardly defined by his published works/books in those results, and I thought about how one can control that aspect as well, take charge of what results comprised my online presence.
So that was to be my goal:
- How could I get profiled on the first google results page with my name ?
- And secondly, how could I “control” what that result would be
I had worked with SEO somewhat in my days as Web master (Yes, back when we still called it that…), so the thought of measuring succes by google rank just came naturally to me. But, somehow, this simple way of measurement didnt seem enough, especially after reading,amongst others, Lisa Barones thoughts on Social Media.
Instead I decided to look at myself as a brand in need of a social media plan, and the success of this endeavour would be a matter of establishing said brand and by measuring its success, in some way, not just google results.
A more precise goal of controlling my identity :
- How could I establish a “personal brand”, and control it’s appearance ?
- How could I measure the success of this, besides Google Rank ?
The existing “brand” was comprised of the already established presence I had on the net, defined by the services i used. As I mentioned, I had enjoyed some of the wonders of Social Media beforehand, but primarily the services I used was from a private perspective (useful when travelling, fun in my sparetime, occasionally from a work perspective…). But a starting point needs a list, and here it is:
|A Twitter account
A Facebook account
A Flickr account
A private blog
A 4SQ account
A Gmail account
A Linkedin account
A Last.fm account
A private website
The only thing I had used a good deal of energy on was my Linkedin profile, as an online CV/Resumé, and like most others of my friends and colleagues, it was a useful tool both when recruiting and job hunting.
Often, the guidelines for a social media identity had a monetized perspective on the how and why of creating a profile, and I quickly surmised that that wouldn’t be my goal, but the points often made, gave a lot of sense. Here again is Lisa Barone and her guidelines as an example,:
- Pick your username
- Choose your Avatar
- Use Tagging to describe your voice
- Create a character
- Create a strategy (Decide how to Fish)
And that led me to consider the need for what content my “brand” would deliver, how would I “tag my voice” ?, as well as under what name..
So an underlying challenge to ensure my goal was:
- What content would I deliver ?
- And how ?
The content starting point
As an IT professional, primarily as an IT manager and IT Consultant, I was and am an avid reader of various tech blogs, to name but a few:
That would later become my main content platform, but before i get ahead of my self, lets look at how i used the services i had. For the most part my usage centered around the following:
Mostly used for 4SQ checkins, Last.fm music listing, Travel picture snapshot, and link sharing from before mentioned tech blogs and small private status updates.
Primarily used as a more private picture sharing platform for close friends and relatives, Link sharing of both the twitter shares but also for links of a more private nature (not suitable for work, humorous, etc.. J ) as well as status updates for me and my family.
Used for my few Instagr.am endeavours
More or less a somewhat static resume platform, updated few times a year
Picture sharing, and Playground (PHP portals, new web protocols, etc…)
Sparsely updated on few occasions during the years, most of the activities was moved to facebook, so quite static blog.
The content listed above, is what the services were primarily used for.
With the challenges made apparent for me to reach my goal, my first effort lay in gaining a perspective on what i had, and how to use it.
See part 2 for more 🙂