Actually, I mentioned my online identity last night when I blogged about my various web presences. So Thing 3 is really just an extension of that.
But the big question is, what do my fellow bloggers think of my brand, and are they receiving the message I mean to convey? (Tell me, please do tell me!)
I Googled myself and thought it was quite accurate, to be honest. (Having a distinctive name does help, of course. Yes, there are a couple of scientists; and another Karen McAulay translates dictionaries; but I seem to be the one and only musical, scholarly librarian Karen McAulay!) Anyway, I come up first on Academia, then on Twitter (which I keep professional). There's a Facebook Karen McAulay who isn't me - can't help that - then comes Whittaker Live, the performing arts blog that I author at work.
After that I come up on LinkedIn (I don't use it much at all), then a researcher posting I did for Durham University. Next, I'm found fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss, and then on Vitae.ac.uk.
There's nothing there I wouldn't want a future employer to see. Indeed, I believe it conveys the serious, research-minded, music information expert that I like to think I am. I was quite gratified to find the fundraising venture came up - no future employer would object to charity activity AND serious swimming, and if they worked out that I have mild hearing loss, well, it plainly doesn't hold me back!
Right, other questions that Thing 3 asked me to consider:-
- Name used. My real name clearly comes up in the right places. Whittaker Live is named after an early professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (when it was the Athenaeum), and I'm blogging at work anyway, but my real name is there for all to see, if they look for it. I'm Karenmca on Twitter, but I often sign myself as that on memos etc, so it's accurate enough. Academia.edu and Linked In are spot on, too. If some of my other blog presences don't show my real name so prominently, it doesn't matter quite so much - they don't come up at the top of the Google search in any case. However, I've just tweaked my True Imaginary Friends blog, so now my name features along the top.
- Photograph. I always use a smiling but businesslike picture. As for other images; well, they're mainly serious ones, but occasionally a frivolous or quirky one to demonstrate a sense of humour. There are no embarrassing pictures of me because I avoid getting into embarrassing situations!
- Professional/personal identity. See last night's post! I keep my professional and personal identities relatively separate, and don't want too much of my personal life broadcast on the internet.
- Visual brand. Generally, you'll find a photo of me (see above). My business-cards are themed with purple flowers, because of my research work on floral and other natural metaphors in connection with historical Scottish folksong collectors. However, I don't have flowers on any web presence. Maybe I should - but that's open to debate, though. I don't know that it would suit my persona as a scholarly author. Do I really want flowers on a website that might be visited by academics or publishers?
- A late postscript. Today my publisher asked me to choose a colour for my book cover. Well, what else? I thought of my CPD23 friends, and it had to be ... the same colour as my business cards! (See my True Imaginary Friends blog, about the forthcoming book.)