Thing 3: All about me …

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Thing 3 for #cpd23 is “Personal Branding”  where we get to think about our personal and professional  presence online.  I’ve not really thought about my “professional” presence much, mainly because I don’t think of myself as a “professional”.  So maybe I should address this?

I am on LinkedIn, but only recently and it’s only there, where you will find my career history with qualifications and education.  Most of the people who are linked to me are also my twitter followers!  I have joined some groups on LinkedIn but very rarely go in and look around.  With most of my online stuff I tend to keep to the same image which is of me now.  When I first started with twitter and facebook I had a much younger image and then of various hairstyles.  It’s only in the last 12 months or so that I’ve been brave enough to show my face!

My personal brand is well coordinated and I have the same avatar throughout where I can.

I can be found in all the usual places, twitter and facebook, I have a netvibes account which I use to bring all my stuff together be it work or study or research.  This does need updating though! I also have a flickr account which is linked to this blog (in the right hand column).

As some of you are aware I have this blog from which I blog about everything, personal, work or just general ramblings.  Do I want to start a blog purely about work, reflecting on things, library info stuff … actually no I don’t.  For one thing it wouldn’t make for very interesting reading, I don’t get the opportunity to go to conferences or seminars or off to interesting training sessions.  Those I have been able to attend have been purely due to taking Annual Leave, and I don’t get a lot of that!  I blog what I feel and the style and language is who I am.  I’ve been around a long time and I’m not about to change.  My blog is called “The Padded Envelope” because I like getting padded envelopes through the post!  Some expected, some not.  They nearly always contain something rather special, something wonderful, useful and entertaining.  Unexpected gifts often arrive in such glorious envelopes.  So that’s how I wanted my blog to be.  Sometimes it’s a bit “professional” with useful advice, mostly it’s about me.

I also have a flavors account which has links to my other social sites.  The background for this account is also on my MOO cards.   So maybe I have subconsciously thought about my branding and look.  The flowers theme is also found on my blog.  Both photos were taken by me and are on my flickr account ….. another online presence.

Throughout these sites my online name is sarahgb/sarahgbarker or sarah barker.  I have done a Google search and like most people have a few doppelgangers out there.  Google searching sarahgb has me at the top of the list.  Out of the top 10 returns I feature 4 times, for twitter, for flickr and for flavors. (the youtube videos are NOT of me I hasten to add).  Googling Sarah Barker (there are loads!) pushes me back to half way down page 2 and that’s my twitter account.  5 pages in and none of these are me!  Googling sarahgbarker puts me firmly back on page 1 and at the top of the list with my netvibes page.  It also has some of my earlier tweets before I locked the account down, but none of those is particularly mind blowing.  Interestingly none of the sarah barkers on the first page for facebook is me!  I must have locked myself down to the point of invisibility on facebook!

All in all I’m quite happy with my online presence as it is.  I have noticed in some searches that old accounts I tried out haven’t been closed down so I need to address that, but on the whole nothing is out there that is going to come back and haunt me.

I did ask my twitter friends for feedback this morning on my “branding” and I had a lovely reply which sums up my online presence perfectly. Thanks @benelwell !

Well this is embarrasing!  Taken the link off because it doesn’t work for everyone, and now it won’t let me upload a screenshot.  So, I’ll just type out the tweet instead!

“@sarahgb you have a great personal brand which is also quite professional.  We love you just the way you are”  tweeted by @benelwell 28/06/2011.

And I think that just about covers it 😉

But what do you think?


7 thoughts on “Thing 3: All about me …

  1. Pingback: Branding “revisited” | The Padded Envelope!

  2. I know I’m way late to the comment game on this one, but I love the blog name! It drew me from the cpd23 site probably before you had written your first cpd23 post, and then I have forgotten to return and read/comment. We use a TON of padded envelopes to ship our library materials around the state, so I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. 🙂

  3. Bizarrely Explorer wouldn’t let me make comments, but Firefox is, so not all bad!
    Your online presence is great, but I must admit that at the CoFHE conference I could only refer to you as Sarahgb which was no use to anyone who was interested in FE in Wrexham! (I do have a poor memory for names at the best of times) and Katy is Smiley to me, not because of the project, but because it co-incidentally seems to describe her!

  4. I agree that your online personal ‘brand’ is cohesive and consistent. If it’s come about partly by accident, then that is testament to your ordered librarian mind!

    It’s interesting that you feel you don’t project yourself professionally and talk little about librarianship, as I often see elements of librarianship in so much that you do online. Take your Flickr photos, for example, they’re always appropriately tagged! And so much of your online presence is joined up. Even without Netvibes, you consistently post your PADS on Facebook and Twitter. A nice bit of cross-referencing that is. Your knowledge of current literature is mightily impressive, but, truth be told, I don’t always associate voracious reading with librarians… unlike the rest of the population…

    I think that because these professional elements seep through to the personal, I’ve always assumed your online presence was a decent mix of the personal and professional. Maybe I need to keep a closer tally of the number of cat and Formula 1 tweets! Whatever that tally may reveal, I’d happily read more obviously professional blog posts though. Your guest blog on BOBB was great and serves to remind me how different are the worlds of FE and HE librarianship and how there’s much to be learned from exploring that difference.

    I’m very happy to use my name online, but that came about through naivety more than design. Your online name seems more considered. I think so long as you have an online identity that’s you, the name you use, so long as it’s used reasonably consistently and isn’t idiotic, doesn’t matter.

  5. Katy Wrathall

    As somebody who has a Twitter name that was dictated by a work project I think you are absolutely right to maintain your own identity. I think you are right about deciding what the purpose of your various online outlets is, and striking a balance that is right for you.

  6. Hi Sarah,

    Really interested in your reflection of your online presence and also whether you can be just professional, just personsal or both and I completely agree that you can be both and we are more than just our job (would be a bit sad if that wasn’t the case!)
    I also like the photo that you use of yourself (great haircut!), I have used the same photo on twitter and when needed for something professional (like when I wrote an article for a newsletter) it’s not too stuffy and I’m sat at a desk so a little bit work like!

    I guess I should get on with thing #3 now too!

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