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This post is part 2 in a series of my endeavours in establishing a personal brand, the how and why of it J
Part 1 listed the background for how I came about this project, and listed the following goal:

  • How could I get profiled on the first google results page ?
    • And secondly, how could I “control” what that result would be ?

Furthermore, I found specific challenges to reach my goal:

  • How could I establish a “personal brand” ?
    • And how could I measure the success of this ?
  • What content would I deliver ?
    • And how ?
Part 1 also listed my starting point as the following:
  • A Twitter account, @kreiner
  • A 4SQ account
  • A Facebook account
  • A Flickr account
  • A Nickname from my School days, Eye-T
This next part will try and document what initial tasks I did to have a clear understanding of an online “personal brand”.

The trichotomy of a profile

I spent about a week preparing myself for the coming endeavour. I turned to Google for some quick, searchable insights, with the following keywords:

Online Identity, Social Identity, Social Media Advice, Personal Branding and so forth.

One of the first articles I read, was about the subject of Identity Management in Cyberspace, primarily centered on the psychology of Avatar vs. Real Life, and the blurring of the two. As an avid William Gibson fan, the subject wasn’t that new to me, but I did get a refresher course on basic Avatar psychology, more specifically, how we present our selves:

“We don’t have to present ourselves in toto – how we look, talk, move, our history, thoughts, feelings, and personality, all in one big package. In different environments, we can divvy up and present our characteristics in packets of various sizes and content.”

and how different media we choose also reflects on that:

“…people choose a specific communication channel to express themselves. There are a variety of possibilities and combinations of possibilities, each choice giving rise to specific attributes of identity.”

So, it was clear to me that my online identity was of course an aspect of me, but not necessarily all of me. I had amassed one online identity over the years rather haphazardly, but it was clear to me, that I couldn’t incorporate that into a more work related profile, because I knew already that digitally as well as IRL, I needed a place where I could talk freely, away from work J. A search on professional Identity, exposed me too Lee Davies and his article on Personal and professional identity, in which he lists the Trichotomyof online presence:

  • The personal me
  • The personal professional me
  • The work-related professional me

And that quickly inspired me to create the two latter identities, the personal professional and the work related Me, and seeing the preexisting identity as the personal me. Lee Davies says at one point:

“I need to try to keep these three distinct identities separate and that in doing so I will need to manage those instances when the boundaries are blurred.”

And that prompted me to try a kind of Social Media GAP analysis to see what i would need, a way of seeing both the boundaries between the profiles and what I needed. The following list is a framework that helped me gaining some kind of an initial overview as well as starting point for my GAP analysis:

Type Personal Personal Professional Work-related Professional
Resume Facebook Linkedin Internal
Business oriented Social Networking Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin
Microblog Twitter Need twitter account Need Twitter account
Mail Gmail Need Email account Workplace Mail
General Social Networking Facebook Need Facebook account ?
Blog Blog Need Blog Need blog
Location based Social Network 4SQ Need 4SQ ?
Picture sharing Flickr Need Picture sharing account Need Picture sharing account
Music Social Network Last.fm No No
Website Website Need website No

The categories on the left i gathered primarily from what i had, as well as the following inspiration: Heide Cohen has been a good inspiration for me in terms of “how to get started” with her numerous insights. Looking at my newly discovered Trichotomized identity, I quickly realized that Linkedin was a constant in all three identities i needed, but other than that, i didn’t really have three unique identities with which to “steer” my online presence. So, with my theoretical foundation in place, i set out to try and remedy my missing identities J

Work Related Professional

Having just recently started at my new company, i focused on the Work related professional, and to summarize, here is what i needed:

Type Work-related Professional
Business oriented Social Networking Have Linkedin
Microblog Need Twitter account
Mail Have Workplace Mail
General Social Networking No
Blog Need blog
Location based Social Network No
Picture sharing Need Picture sharing account
Music Social Network No
Website No

In my company, many of the aspects i needed was covered via their implementation of Yammer, a large enterprise social network, with both Twitter like capabilities, picture sharing and knowledge sharing, so after quickly creating my profile there, i had most of my Work related needs covered. Besides that, they had a WordPress platform for internal blogs, and after creating that, i was ready to go in a day (I quickly surmised that a Location based social network was on the Nice to have list…), not bad for identity creation JHere is what comprises of my Work-related Professional identity:

Type Work-related Professional
Business oriented Social Networking Linkedin
Microblog Yammer
Mail Workplace Mail
General Social Networking Yammer
Blog Workplace internal blog
Location based Social Network Not relevant (for now)
Picture sharing Yammer
Music Social Network Not relevant (for now)
Website Not relevant (for now)

Personal professional

With my private and work related profile in place, that left the personal professional, and here things got a bit tricky, and as Lee Davies mentioned, the boundaries got blurred. I had my initial Gap analysis, and that gave me something to go on:

Type Personal Professional
Business oriented Social Networking Linkedin
Microblog Need twitter account
Mail Need Email account
General Social Networking Need Facebook account
Blog Need Blog
Location based Social Network Need 4SQ
Picture sharing Need Picture sharing account
Music Social Network Need
Website Need website

Microblog

First of, I needed a new separate twitter account, and with my old nickname Eye-T already taken I chose EyetDK (I am from Denmark, so I could live with that unpronouncable twitter id J).

Mail (& Website)

To better differentiate between privat and Work and that third option, I needed an email adress specifically for my Personal Proffesional activities, and since my GAP analysis also made it apparent that a website was needed I chose a domain (http://www.eye-t.dk) that also gave me my new mail adress opportunity JThe website was a previously owned for personal use (php coding, test, anything…) but I transformed it into a Personal Professional Brand site.

General Social Networking

Well, my brand needed a some kind of Facebook presence and so as not to cause too much confusion with my private ID, I chose to create a Facebook Page under the EyetDK moniker, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eye-T-DK/202292649807998I had not previously tried the brand approach on Facebook, and I could see how quickly the fore mentioned blurry boundaries between identities could arise, so I dove into some of the possibilities for profile separation (Private vs. personal) but chose to keep it simple and register the brand page under my private name.

Blog

One thing was a blog, I knew I needed it, another thing entirely was just choosing the platform. I looked at everything from Tumblr to WordPress, Blogger to Posterous and ended up choosing WordPress for the following reasons:

  • Microsoft Office integration
  • Browser editor with most functions
  • Reach
  • Widgets/Plugins
  • SEO

I have to admit, I wanted to go with Tumblr because of the design and look alone, but in the end sanity ruled the day J

Location Based Social Network

I already used 4square in my personal identity, so I surmised I needed to create another account for my EyetDK brand, nut chose to dive into the other “players” out there: Gowalla, Facebook Places and Brightkite to name some of them. I actually ended up with choosing FAcebook Places, with my newly create Brand Page this seemed like a good idea, again in the interest on keeping the blurry unblurryfied, so to speak JBut after a few trial runs it got too complicated switching between identities, and I had to admit I didn’t see the need for separate Geo checkins, so I chose not to have one instead.

Picture Sharing

Well, for me the first choice was Flickr, and even though I have lately begun appreciating other sites out there, I still use Flickr for my EyetDk brand, because of the ease with which I could integrate it in to my other accounts.

Music Social Network

I had Last.fm for personal use, and the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t find a good reason for having this kind of a service associated with my brand, so I chose to not have one With that in place, here is how my Personal Professional identity took shape:

Type Personal Professional
Business oriented Social Networking Linkedin
Microblog @eyetdk
Mail @eye-t.dk account
General Social Networking Eye-T DK Facebook Page
Blog WordPress
Location based Social Network Not relevant (for now)
Picture sharing Flickr
Music Social Network Not relevant (for now)
Website Eye-t.dk

Profile overview

Type Personal Personal Professional Work-related Professional
Resume Facebook Linkedin Internal DB
Business oriented Social Networking Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin
Microblog Twitter @eyetdk Yammer
Mail Gmail @eye-t.dk account Workplace Mail
General Social Networking Facebook Eye-T DK Facebook Page Yammer
Blog Blogger WordPress Workplace internal blog
Location based Social Network 4SQ Not relevant (for now) Not relevant (for now)
Picture sharing Facebook Flickr Yammer
Music Social Network Last.fm Not relevant (for now) Not relevant (for now)
Website Website Eye-t.dk Not relevant (for now)

So, with my boundaries somewhat defined, and the core elements of the three “separate” identities defined, the next step was a question of Content, which Part 3 will look into J

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