Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Thing 3 - My Personal Brand

Considering my personal brand online seemed a bit strange at first until I started to google myself.  No results for my actual name until the second page when there was a link to the citation written by the School Library Association when I attained the honour list for School Librarian of the Year in 2008.  Similarly with Google Images, far down the page there are a few photos taken of me at that year's ceremony.  When I googled my online name however, I did get a bit unnerved to be honest as there was result after result of my tweets to various people, followed by results taking me to individual blog posts I have written and even a link to a pearltree? by a fellow Twitter user who has included my blog.  While I sort of knew the Internet was a big place and not always private, this has certainly given me food for thought and although not put me off social media, may well make me think even more carefully than I do now, about what I say online.  

Using the suggested headings given to me by CPD23 then:

Name Used is a nickname (from my husband).  I chose it because I didn't want to be known online by my real name.  As a I work in a school, being Assistant Head of Sixth Form, as well as  having strategic responsibility for the LRC, it is vitally important that I retain my professional status at all times and I didn't want to be easily 'found' online by students and so begin to blur professional boundaries.

Photograph used is the same one on my name badge at school, or was, until I got it updated this year.  As a result I have tried to change it on my Twitter and blog today at school, but I think the network filters don't like it very much so I am going to try at home later.  I used a real picture of me as I have always tried to keep my Twitter account and blog professional.  My blog, which I set up to demonstrate the progress of my chartership, has remained so.  My tweets occasionally are about life outside school and the library world, about 1 in 20, so Twitter is still very much a professional PLN.  As I don't use my real name online, I feel ok about using a real photo and if I do meet people from the online world in the real world, then I'd like them to recognise me.

I really covered professional/personal identity in the last paragraph, except to say that I don't do Facebook either personally or professionally.  Having a Facebook account for the LRC scares me as the idea of being 'friends' with people that I am in' loco parentis of' when they are in school goes against everything I believe in about what is 'right' and 'not right' and I can't see that opinion changing. I have yet to see the need for Facebook in real life.  I still like talking to my friends.

Visual Brand is a difficult one.  It was only last week that I considered changing the background on my blog to something more appropriate than just a blue sky and green grass.  I've now got books, however I am still stuck with the default Twitter page as my design.  It honestly didn't occur to me to think about how I should 'stand out' online, but thinking about it, I suppose it is only the same as in real life when I worry about what clothes I should wear on a particular day, e.g. only wearing a suit on parents evenings etc.  Something to think about in the future perhaps.  I'll get an up to date photo on my blog and Twitter page first.

As I finished this, I have just watched Ned Potter's, @therealwikiman, Prezi on creating your own brand as mentioned on the CPD23 blog.  More food for thought and a great presentation.

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