I've spent the morning contemplating my brand and considering 'who I am' in a professional sense.
In the past, I've made a conscious decision not to have an online presence as a librarian. Partly, this was a very personal choice. I've been careful to ensure that my Facebook presence is clearly separated from my professional life. My real name is not used, and I've followed ScienceGrrl's debate on the right to pseudonyms to manage an online identity with interest. Although I set up a Google+ account, I've left it conspicuously empty. It's clearly linked to my personal account, and I've been hesitant to blend my personal and professional lives.
As librarians, most of us are highly skilled in finding information. An element of my work involves finding out about individuals. Searching newspapers, business directories, social media, slowly building a picture of a person. When Spokeo was released a few years back, I was horrified by the idea that all someone needed was an email address, and with it they could find out quite a lot about your online life, from your Amazon wish list through to your Hotmail account and an awful lot in between. I took note.
So with all that in mind, I didn't really need to Google myself to know what I would find. I'm well rehearsed! If you know my name, and know I'm a librarian, the first thing you find is my LinkedIn profile. And that's it. Phew.
But there's another side to this coin. I've spent an awful lot of effort suppressing information about myself appearing online. What if it could be managed instead? Curious searchers directed to the bits I want them to see? Jo Alock recently spoke at Oxford Social Media 2011, and the key piece of advice that stood out for me was the idea of claiming your online identity across different platforms. about.me takes this a step further, allowing you to bring all the different facets of your online presence together.
You'll have spotted from the name of my blog it's not particularly original. I'll admit I know three other librarians who share my full name, one of whom was on the same course at me at university. I've yet to consider my Unique Selling Point and capture this in an image, a font, a colour. JoLibrariAnne was created in a hurry when setting up a Twitter account. At the time, I had no intention of posting, but I suddenly *got* the point of twitter. The blog name was set up to create some consistency for the purpose of 23 Things. Perhaps I've done it the wrong way round. Few companies create a blog, or a twitter account and then consider what they are going to market. It's on my list of things to do. I hope that soon, you'll spot the difference.
The name has grown on me a little, so I may keep it for now. You may even see JoLibrariAnne moving in on a few other social platforms.
Thing 3. I blame you.