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July 7, 2011 / Christian M.

Thing 3: What is My Personal Brand?

Thing 3 is about personal branding and the importance of evaluating your online presence to make sure that you are conveying the right message.

I don’t use my real name much for social media. For LinkedIn and Facebook I use my full name, however I think I have the privacy settings such that my Facebook profile is not searchable…I might change that. How much of my real/personal identity to reveal online is something I continue to debate within myself. On Twitter and this blog I do include my real first name in my profile info, but I post under a screen name. I also include the name of the library system I work for, but do not mention the specific branch. I understand the importance of sharing such information for networking purposes, but it makes me uneasy that potential creeps could find me at work (paranoid much?).

Ideally I would like to create an electronic portfolio that can link all my social media accounts and document my progress in grad school and as a professional. Here a couple of interesting portfolios I found: here and here. However, due to my lack of creativity and spare time, I will probably just opt for a simple profile to connect my social networks like this or this.

I Googled my real name, and not much came up. My LinkedIn profile was at the top of page one (great!). Then there were Facebook and MySpace profiles for other people, and a few links mentioning me in relation to my former job with a non-profit organization. On page two there was a link to an announcement on my school’s website about a scholarship I received, and a few links related to my previous job.

When I Googled my screen name, LibGirl09, I received a lot of relevant links relating to my blog and Twitter posts. Also, there were links to posts I had made on other blogs. I did find another Libgirl09 (lowercase “g”) with a photo gallery account. However, the majority of the top search results were related to me. I like Jothelibrarian’s idea of creating accounts across various domains/social media tools to “claim rights” to a specific screen name. I might consider this, however first I have to decide how attached I am to LibGirl09, and if there is another screen name that better describes me, or is more unique.

While you are here reading my blog, please give me your feedback. What do you think this blog’s design, and content say about my personal brand? What words come to your mind?



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  1. Rekesha / Jul 8 2011 10:08 am

    I agree with you on the aspect of knowing how much to reveal of my real identity online. It’s a debate that I have with myself as I start thinking about blogging about non-library topics. But, I do use my full name for my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. I like the idea of being searchable and being able to communicate via social media with folks I meet at conferences, meetings, etc.

    In response to your request for feedback, I think the overall look of your blog is very professional. 🙂


    • LibGirl09 / Jul 8 2011 5:05 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Rekesha! 🙂 You are right that including a full name with social media helps with professional networking. I am becoming more proactive with networking, so that is why I’m a little more comfortable with revealing my identity. I think I hesitated to attach my name to this blog at first, because I wanted to take some time to find my “blogging voice” and figure out what direction I would take in the content.

  2. Shannon / Jul 9 2011 3:16 am

    I’ve been online for a long time and have gone through a number of iterations of screen names. The early days the whole internet was so new that I chose something at random as did pretty much everyone (I can’t think of a single person I knew that didn’t use a screen name). As time went on the screen names became a bit more relevant to who I was at the time. For several years I used librarygirl and finally dropped that because I decided I really didn’t want to be defined by my career, and I felt it came across as maybe immature and egotistical (I had the domain name). I pretty much use my own name now though there are places I still have screen names though they aren’t hard to attach my real name to. I guess what I do when signing up for a tool is determine whether that tool is likely to play a larger role in my personal or professional life, and from there I decide whether I’ll use a screen name or my real name.

    It is a hard thing to do though so I appreciate the struggle with deciding how much personal information you put out there. I know a lot of people feel the same way as you do about linking your real name with where you actually work. I don’t think some people realise how easy it is to piece things together online or that when they co-authored some report for some small organisation, and said report was posted on the website, their name and organisation were linked up. Anyway, it is hard to strike that balance and even with all the years I’ve got under my belt, I find it hard.

    As for your blog, it’s clean and clear. I like your tag cloud. I do think it could use a bit of colour and some images (I do see you use some occasionally in posts). Overall though, it is a good blog!

    • LibGirl09 / Jul 9 2011 6:31 am

      Thanks for sharing Shannon. I see so many people now with full names, places of work, and full resumes (with home addresses and phone numbers!) posted online. It’s nice to see they are so comfortable with connecting online presence with real identity. But you’re right, I do think sometimes people don’t realize how easy it is to follow the online trail. Bits of info posted here and there can be easily connected .

      I also agree I need more color and images. I was reviewing the different WordPress templates and picked this one because I liked the category cloud. But I’ll keep working on it. Thanks again!

  3. jothelibrarian / Jul 14 2011 5:07 pm

    Nice post, and thanks for the namedrop! I hadn’t come across before, and I have duly claimed my spot on there 🙂 I love the portfolios you cite too. The real name/username thing is tricky isn’t it? Glad I’m not the only one grappling with it! I’m enjoying your #cpd23 blog.

    • LibGirl09 / Jul 18 2011 10:48 am

      Thanks Jo for stopping by. Glad I could help add to your list of domains/social media accounts. 🙂


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