This blog is part of 23 Things for Professional Development, a course encouraging information professionals to explore online tools.
I already started thinking about my personal brand during week 2 of CPD23, when another participant commented on how my blog and website appeared to someone who didn’t know me. Long story short, I come across as professional (score!) but also a little bit serious, which is a bit more of a mixed blessing!
Me and My Site
This got me thinking about the history of my website came about. I created its first version in around 2003, before the concept of social media had really started to catch on. It was a combination of a place to put up information about myself, such as my CV, and a place for me to practice my html. I guess this is history is part of what gives the site its serious flavour!
Am I happy with this? Well, yes and no. Having looked a bit at my blog with fresh eyes I decided it was very dry, and I at least needed to add a picture of myself (already done). I’m also considering making my blog my front page on the site. I don’t think too much of a redesign is possible as I hand-code the site in html (except for the WordPress blog, where I hand-code the template!) and don’t have much time to make changes currently. I know there’s mixed opinion about the need for having a personal website at all in the social media era, and I know the URL I have chosen is impossible to remember, but I do love my site, and I like reminding myself I can use markup language occasionally!
My Visibility and Web Presence
The pay-off for having maintained my own website for a while is that I do quite well in Google searches for my name. I knew this already as I search for myself quite a lot! Part of this is to keep an eye on how visible I am, but I also teach searching techniques and different search engines. As I know what tends to come up about me, I find searching for myself a useful way to compare and contrast different sets of search results!
In searches, there’s a few other Katie Frasers with quite high visibility: especially the one who works for ‘Take a Break’ magazine! Generally, my website features highly across search engines, as do my Twitter account, my Linked In page and my Academic.edu page, all of which I update fairly regularly. For some reason, Google is the only search engine which offers another Katie Fraser’s Linked In page first. I tend to fit the way my style to the kind of service I’m using. On Linked In I’m professional, and on Twitter, I post a mixture of personal and professional stuff. I’m not consistent with my profile pictures, but I do always use a picture of my face, and my face IS consistent!
Generally, I’m quite happy with the way I appear online. I do concentrate more on my professional identity in things I post on the open net, and save my more personal thoughts for either places where my information is quite locked down (such as Facebook) or for face-to-face encounters. However, I don’t think anyone reading my Twitter account would think that I’m always a serious person!