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?