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Branding Yourself for the Web

A symptom of the web is that often two social networks that are meant to be separate collide.  As social media sites became more popular and attracted a variety of users, the social spheres of work, family, and friends collided.  People responded by taming down their profiles so they would be acceptable to all audiences.

Some sites allow you control the information you put out into the world through privacy settings, others like a blog do not.  Contrary to social media sites you do not have a specific group of friends that only you approve to see your content.  With a blog run through WordPress and similar services your work is out there for anyone to see.  This can cause some trouble depending on the type of content posted.  Old post don’t simply disappear.  “Most blogs automatically archive  posts as they get pushed off the front page by newer posts.”  Especially since digital documents stay around for a long time, if not forever, so it is not always as simple as hitting delete.  Rettberg said “while most of what we post on Facebook may seem harmless, we should consider that it could be used in other context”HEART-LURKER

With a blog you have an invisible audience.  A larger majority of readers are lurkers like me.  Lurkers rarely participating in social media conversation, but we are still consuming the media.  New research suggests there are 12 different social media personalities.

Since the audience that can view your content is anyone, you are forced to negotiate these audience and not post anything that would be too unacceptable to a network. Your online identity is extremely important.  One of the first places people go to find out more information is the web, and they are doing it increasingly more to find out information about people.  There is specific ways we present ourselves on the web. The term personal branding – the process in which we market ourselves to others – was coined once we realized that we needed to present ourselves positively to the rest of the world.  What people find can affect your professional life, personal, and university acceptance.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 5.20.40 PMI have repetitively been told how important that it is that my profile has strict privacy settings in-case my future employers.  What is posted today could impact your future.  People are checking on what you have been up to, Kaplan’s survey showed that colleges are increasingly using Facebook and Twitter to recruit, furthermore of those admissions officers who look up their applicants 353 percent discovered something about an applicant that negatively impacted their application — a 218 percent increase over the previous year.

Also authenticity is more commonplace.  Pseudo names to protect your personal identity aren’t attractive to readers, they want to know that there are connecting to a real person.  So it wont do you much good to make a blog under a fake name because somehow it will be traced back to you.  We tend to drop a few pieces of personal information in here and there.  Combined they complete a whole profile of who we are.  The different services we use always want to link to each other; connect through Facebook here and link to Twitter there.  I have noticed that what I do on my cellphone connects to what I do on my computer, and then to my Xbox.  If find this to be a bit weird, convenient in some ways I’m sure, but feels intrusive.  There will no longer be borders between your online self and your offline self, both will be equability representative of yourself to the rest of the world for better or for worst.

Maybe you should check your online identity and make sure nothing surprising pops up.