I would like to start this post by saying that while reading the posts on thing 2 it was interesting to see how most of us were very happy and relieved that we had a clean record!
One of the things I would like to discuss is the idea that most of us have two identities, professional and personal, which sometimes expands to separate web presence, blogs and email address.
In a discussion I had with a friend she was telling me that companies might ‘check’ someone’s facebook page (or other similar ones) before employing them. Imagine finding inappropriate pictures or other things you wouldn’t your employer to know. Also, facebook allows other people to post stuff and tag you which may interfere with what someone wants their profile/web presence like.
I was happy to see that the search of my name in Google didn’t return anything too personal or non academic. I have been on facebook for a long time mainly to keep contact with friends on other countries and for networking purposes. Usually I don’t pay much attention to various notices people post (such as that we will have to pay for Facebook and you have to something before so that you are in those who still use it for free). Once somebody posted that everyone should google their name and see comes as a result. I was amazed when I saw pictures of me or pictures of my close friends which have been posted on facebook, being there public (even though I use the friends only privacy feature). It seems that there was a setting that allowed facebook to present these if a name was googled. I immediately changed it!!
Social mention came up with a video from a series where a character had a similar name to mine but it really has nothing to do with me. In Google, I googled all versions of my name (short version, full name and both in English and my native language). For Personas I tried something different. There was no digital trace for me but for another person I did it came up with many results. I was amazed! I haven’t used that before and I didn’t actually know how it is when it comes up with results.
Then, I started thinking. Nothing really comes up for me. Maybe I should make myself more visible? I am still very early in my career and it seems like a good time to set up my web presence. Looking for all these and ‘playing’ with them was really interesting. Some are quite good and I would be interested to sign up as didn’t know they exist before…
Linking places one is represented does seem like a good idea as long as the different identities are not mixed. As I have read this can be done be choosing one main platform and linking others to it. But then, which is this platform? And under what identity would someone do that? Then the time issue comes up. How long does it take to maintain all these pages and places and preserving your web presence?
Not having a professional web presence has its pros and cons. On the one hand, the risk of personal and private stuff coming up if someone is not careful with visibility and privacy issues is decreased. However, people can’t find you and networking becomes more difficult. Also, people working in the same area can’t easily trace someone or their work. I don’t think in the 21st century is a good strategy not having a professional presence. It is the time that everything is computerised and digital.