Friday, July 1, 2011

Thing 3 : Consider Your Personal Brand

So who else has done a spot of vanity searching this week?

Google Search
A Google search on my name gave 3 pretty solid pages about me, but by the 4th page it was about half me and half other Joann Ransoms (there are lots in the USA you know).

The first page of listings showed I am pretty active on this interweb thingee:
  • a blog post I wrote about CPD23 on this blog,
  • my linkedin professional profile,
  • my slideshare site with a bunch of professional presentations,
  • my 'local' professional biography on our library website,
  • a blogpost congratulating me being named an ALJ Mover and Shaker,
  • a Youtube interview with Kathryn Greenhill on 'hacking the library',
  • a blog post by The Shifted Librarian (Jenny Levine) talking about my Kete presentation at Bridging Worlds in Singapore,
  • photo of me in Cindi Trainor's Flickr stream (from Bridging World's),
  • my Good Reads profile (what?!),
  • Movers and Shakers article in American Library Journal.
Pages 2 and 3 are far less 'professional' and the Digital NZ search result is fascinating - so much personal stuff! This includes photos of the kids and I walking along Manawatu Gorge train tracks in very unflattering garb - but delightfully holding my son's hand (he would NEVER allow me to do that now), a photo of my Mum and her bloke, me with a skinful of booze (you'd never know) and dressed in a very fetching floral frock and a Serbian (or Croatian?) Army hat, plus lots and lots of links to content I loaded up into Kete Horowhenua.

A fair bit of my writing is starting to appear on these pages too: my most read blogposts for instance. The top 4 are about Koha and bullying ... which is interesting (not the Koha - thats no surprise - but the teenage bullying). I have only ever written 2 posts about bullying (out of 162) and they both make this list of search results ... not sure how I feel about that...

Google images shows almost a whole page of the lovely photo of me in Singapore taken by the very talented Cindi Trainor (you can't see the Singapore Sling I was nursing or even recognize that we were sitting in Raffles). I wrote and asked Cindi if I could use it as my 'official' photo on twitter, blog profiles etc. which was a very smart thing to do. It is a photo I am very happy with and it is the photo that Google finds over and over again. Sadly, however, I am now quite grey (ok - white) and my lovely bright hair in that photo could only be regained through spending vast amounts at the hairdresser, so it may be time to update my photo ... false advertising and all that.

I remember in Singapore Jenny Levine commented over a meal or a drink or something how important it was to 'author' your own online profile and I have deliberately done that over the last few years. Her reasoning was something to do with identity theft ie 'THIS is me' but this whole Google vanity search thing has been an eye opener.

Name used
I always use jransom wherever I can - not some nickname - mostly because I couldn't think of anything clever. As time has worn on I am actualy quite happy that my name has become my brand.

Professional vs Personal Identity
I have merged the two because I believe that people connect with personalities rather than organisations. I want to be an authentic and 'real' online person that people can relate to and engage with. I do try very hard to keep my family and truly personal stuff offline. I used to have facebook for family only but got sick of turning down friend requests from professional colleagues and people I didn't know at all. I might have viewed facebook as 'strictly personal' but clearly the rest of the world didn't / doesn't.

Visual Brand
My professional blog Library Matters is very clean and plain and modern but my recipe blog Lest they be Lost is branded entirely differently. This is very deliberate to show that my recipes are a completely different side of my 'personna'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Joann
Thanks for your interesting comments. I'm still new at this game but am quietly pleased about my Google presence. I hadn't thought of Google images but went straight there after I read your blog! Yes I'm there but not as prominent as my daughter. I tend to use HelenY as my name and now that I've read your thoughts I think I will stick to that as a brand name. Thanks for the hint.