Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CIL2010: Crafting an Online Persona

Crafting an Online Persona
Defining Who You Are, in an Anonymous, Online World
Craig Anderson, Kean University
JP Porcaro, New Jersey City University

Trying to get the librarians at own University to be more involved; there is trepidation concerning anyone seeing their work and information. The we are ways to be online and "control" what individual audiences see and read (insert Billy Joel, "The Stranger" lyrics). We can be the same person everywhere, just filtered.

See: 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

Branding Yourself

(See web site created by user, 8bitlibrary.com) Have a clear idea of what you are, what you want, and how you want to present yourself online. Think about your online accounts as professional development, everything you post should be part of your personal brand. The image you portray should be consistent with your image.

There are instances when what is appropriate for one person is not for another. Athletes and celebrities would have a different threshold of appropriate than teacher's and librarians. While it may not be "fair," it is a consideration. Time and distance are also contributing factors, photos of celebrities and alcohol verses the recent cover of School Library Journal featuring librarians toasting may have different connotations. Some people found it offensive, others wondered why it was an issue.

Responsible Citizenship

When online, we should model behaviors and usage of the digital world. As "responsible citizens" we should be online; being online is something librarians need to consider part of there role and responsibilities.

(Session Question) How closely are we monitoring online identities in concert with employers? Do employers understand how are identities are our own?

(Discussion) You need to present yourself professionally and be forward thinking enough to ride the possible turbulent wave of privacy and employer dissatisfaction. This should not be taken lightly, when online - especially as a librarian - the identity you present needs to be professional.

(Question) Institutional privacy or more conservative universities do not /would not appreciate the digital persona.

(Discussion) It is not always appropriate for everyone to have their facebook page in an email signature file. But we need to move forward with respect for the persona.

Institutional persona vs Personal Persona - Open Discussion

There is a great deal of discussion surrounding the problem of personal and professional. You can create groups within facebook and block people from seeing different areas and still keep one profile.

Employers are posting job opportunities in social media applications. If you are not managing your account correctly it may be detrimental to the potential employee. Not being online does not automatically make you "safe."

You are also in some ways judged by the people you have "friended." You can not control your "friends," and this can play a role in the big picture of who you are and what you think. Manage your account, spend time deleting or weeding your "facebook wall."

As you build your brand, you are making it clear to others who you are and "what you are about." Political and social implications are serious. This online identity follows you, online does not go away. As professionals we will be moving to other positions and jobs, these elements build on your personal identity. What we are doing online will remain.

Be constantly thinking and advocating responsible digital citizenship. Set up an "ego feed," use Google Alerts to be notified when things are published online.

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