Over the next few days, I’ll be scaling down my online output. I’m going to put the blog on hold and, once I’ve done that, will in the coming weeks/months be updating my ‘main’ website (the one hosting my PhD) to be a static, search engine optimised, half decent representation of my online identity (all in one place. Most other stuff will be gotten rid of).
I own my main website’s domain name, but all the files are hosted on webspace the ex owns – not ideal! So either way I’ll need to host it myself. It’ll just be a process to get back to a manageable online presence that I’m comfortable with. I may even keep my twitter and integrate it, and e.g. use the wordpress platform to publish my personal website and PhD (but not as a blog, i.e. not updated).
We’ll see. It’s good to keep moving with these kinds of things, and it’s not as if I completely want to erase everything. I just want to get back to a decent static representation of myself, with no additional effort required! And forget all the stuff about personal branding and the importance of online visibility – I see myself staying in my current job for years and years to come (it’s public sector so I don’t exactly need to be worried about losing my job…).
I’ve been thinking about my ‘personal brand’ and whether/how I should develop it. I’m plagued forever by the private/public dichotomy, in that I’m very guarded about my online identity and don’t really want to push my real name out into the ‘web 2.0 sphere’.
However, I realise that I have to do something for my horizontal visibility. For instance, if potential employers search for my name via Google, they find a certain no. of links, as well as my PhD-website (static, web 1.0). They’ll also of course find me on linkedin etc.
The thing is though, I have never made a conscious effort to develop my name-as-brand. Simply put: if searching for my real name (e.g. by potential future employers/for projects or whatever) produces a high no. of relevant Google-hits (example: blog, twitter, facebook, linkedin, xing, etc. all with well maintained and ‘active’ profiles), I can then illustrate my knowledge of and understanding of the online space.
As it is, I can still ‘prove’ it of course (plus, I have a PhD, which helps 😛 . However, I could optimise it quite easily. The reason I’m not doing it (yet) is that I’m cautious about this privacy-issue. I know other people who work online but who haven’t developed a strong online brand, just because of that. There are also real practical implications such as: would I want my current employer to know what I write about, e.g. in a blog or Twitter? Not really!
I will have to give the whole thing some proper thought. The least I can do optimising my existing ‘public’ profiles, so that what is out there already, is going to be more useful for me and any future career development.