Sunday, October 7, 2007

What to do to develop an online identity

Inspired by another post by Michele Martin, I have had a look at my online identity score. I scored a grand total of zero! This means I have no online identity! According to the score, I am 'digitally disguised'. I am totally gutted! Now I am going to have to seriously market myself so that I become a real person on the Internet, or is that a complete contradiction of terms?!

What really upset me was that when I followed the instructions to find out my score, the only context in which I registered a presence was on Amazon. So instead of having an identity as a highly professional and articulate health professional, educator and researcher, I am famous on Google for my review of a historical romance!! How sad is that!


Anonymous said...

Well the reality is it comes back to how visible your presence is online. I have several web sites with others linking to me which means that my name ranks really highly when Googled. So I definitely had no problems with online identity presence and people recognising me for the work I do.

Mind you that can be a bad thing when you find out the your technology phobic husband has googled you during his lunch break.


Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks for that, Sue. When I used 'sarah stewart midwife' in Google, I scored 10/10, so that cheered me up!

Graeme said...

HI Sarah,
Interesting post and one that seems to keep coming up. Two thoughts.

Identity and honesty - two different things.

Honesty, I think, is mostly missing from lot of what this course has been about. I get the feeling that no-one wants to kick up dust and people are holding back. I hope that there will open and transparent assessment and feedback at the end of the course. This also raises the spectre of when you are honest you alienate some community members and also risk failing the course or as you pointed out offending the organisation so that you are seen as a troublemaker, a non-team member, when in fact you are probably being a very productive team member. I remember the stuff about good and bad patients and it is those who are labelled as bad patients who are more responsible for their own health etc.

Identity I struggle with. I could just publish a lot or have a lot of information on the Web and have a highly visible identity but a lot of what is there could be rubbish. Quality over quantity.

David McQuillan said...

Hi Sarah,

I went through & was surprised to find that I got a 7.3. This was based 50% on a couple of WikiEducator contributions, and 50% discussions around the postings in the Learning Communities group about that Elluminate session that I hosted the other day (oddly enough). I have no idea why the second even registered, but the key thing is my blog didn't show up at all.

I would say your blog is quite a bit more visible than mine due to the number of comments that you tend to get. Do you post anywhere else?


Sarah Stewart said...

Hi David, I think the 'problem' with finding me on Google is that the name 'Sarah Stewart' is very common-you would not believe how many of us there are in Dunedin alone. But when I associated my name with midwifery, as I said before, I rate very well. I am leaving comments else where for several reasons: 1. because I enjoy it; 2. because I know it is a way of becoming part of the blogging community; 3. to build networks and get my name known, which is a professional strategy; 4. attract people to my log. As I have said before, I am beginning to see this as a professional opportunity, especially now that I am getting my head around the issues of conflict-if I want to be seen as a leader, then I must 'lead', and that may mean I may have to put my head on the line, and this blog is one way of doing it. Sorry, David, have got off topic-I guess I am still processing my thoughts-sorry to inflict them on you!

Sarah Stewart said...

David: funnily enough, I have posted on student midwives' blogs quite a lot but none have replied to me-I wonder why? I have also had little luck with midwives-I was really keen to get into a midwifery blogging community but that hasn't happened. So I am regularly posting on Sue Waters' blog which she responds to very quickly-thank you, Sue. I am also responding regularly to Michelle Martin, who does a lot of professional development work in the USA-she has been very helpful and approachable. So I am starting to make contacts but I can see that it is a long process.

Sarah Stewart said...

I also see that my rating has increased since I posted my slidecast on 'slideshare' last weekend, so I have come to the conclusion that if you are serious about developing a strong Internet presence, you have to work quite hard at it and be deliberately strategic about. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

I really think that it is deeper than that -- it really gets back to why you do what you do... For me it was never about creating an online identity but about sharing information I gained with others, helping others, connecting with people and my own personal learning.

My online presence and the identity people see came about as a result of this --- it has never been something I have strived to achieve but it has meant that people are more willing to connect with me because they can see the value in doing so. For example it is part of the reason why Leigh invited me to join your 10 minute lecture series.


Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks for that, Sue. I left that off as a reason for why I blog, but would agree that it is an important reason and was certainly why I started off blogging - to pass on information to midwives. But I am finding that instead of this being a totally midwifery blog, that it has already evolved into something less specific. To be honest, I am not sure that it would survive as a purely midwifery blog as there aren't many midwives interested in this form of communication. What do midwives think?

What I am unsure about is whether this works as a non-specific blog or whether I should focus it on one particular area and maybe have different blogs for different issues - what would you think?

Anonymous said...

That is always a hard question... I have decided that I am going to stick to one blog for me and blog about whatever. Sure sticking to a niche topic makes it easier for your readers but I want the freedom to talk about whatever. One of my friends only blogs about mlearning and has got to the point he now struggles to write.

I am considering setting up one for aquaculture but if I do that I will make it one that my students can be authors and help with writing the articles.

Sarah Stewart said...

I'm glad you said that, Sue, because I was feeling I should not put personal posts on this blog because I am trying to be professional. Putting personal posts love of the English rugby team,might be annoying and time wasting for some readers, but at the same time, I do not think I have the energy to keep more than one blog.