Based on the results of my digital footprint analysis in the last post, I felt as though most of my assets were positive. However, there were too few assets to accurately describe who I am professionally. So, my three main objectives were to enhance the positive assets I do have, create new ones to highlight my expertise, and link all of them together (Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; McGinnis, 2012). I have structured my digital footprint plan into three phases shown in this infographic below: foundation work, making connections, and creating\sharing information and materials.
Step One: Laying the Foundation
In this step, I intend on doing the work recommended by McGinnis (2012) directly following the analysis of my existing digital footprint. Most of these endeavors consist of enhancing existing profiles and creating new ones to fill out my professional image. Below is a description of the three steps.
1. Purchase a domain name – I am happy to say that I have already purchased megangooding.com and intend to link it to my WordPress account (more on that in a moment). Purchasing your own domain name is a good practice to help direct traffic to a central place with my professional image. Up until this point, I have not had this. (Kujawski, 2012; Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; Taub, 2012).
2. Create a Slideshare account – This is a pretty specific step, however, it will come to represent a large body of my past professional work. I spent the prior four years working at a state agency as an educational consultant creating professional development. I have numerous professional development presentations I can share via Slideshare. This will help to exhibit what I know and am able to do professionally (Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; McGinnis, 2012).
3. Create or Enhance Social Media Accounts – None of my personal accounts, aside from Twitter and YouTube, emerged in my digital footprint study despite having numerous accounts. This means that my Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts must be enhanced. My privacy settings on my personal Facebook account appear to be working and I haven’t decided whether or not I will use that account or my Boise State account for professional purposes. Similarly, I have two Google+ accounts and must choose one (either personal or Boise State) to enhance and develop. I do have a personal Pinterest account that I want to use. I just need to make a few boards private before sharing the account professionally (Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; McGinnis, 2012).
Step Two: Making Connections
4. Update & Connect on LinkedIn – While I do have a LinkedIn account, I have not actually done much with it. A few weeks ago, my husband was laid off from his job. I helped him update his LinkedIn profile prior to applying for jobs. Immediately, I noticed all of the elements you could add to one profile – which surprised me. I realized that my husband uses his LinkedIn account much like a professional Facebook and that I was missing out by not making better use of my own profile. My intentions in this step are twofold. First, I want to fill out my existing profile by adding courses, awards, links to and\or actual professional artifacts, etc. to enhance my account. Secondly, I would like to connect with more professionals that I know, including people I am meeting through the doctoral program at Boise State. (Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; McGinnis, 2012; Posner, Varner, & Croxall, 2011).
5. Create a Dominant Channel – Several authors discussed the need to create a central hub or dominant channel to direct professional inquiries and interest. I decided to do this with my WordPress account because of its flexibility. I can easily update my account with the new domain name and create several blogs as well as a homepage\biographical section. All of my social media accounts will be linked to the site and I am hoping to find a way to crosspost from WordPress to these accounts. Essentially, it is my plan to use WordPress as my professional website (Kujawski, 2012; Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012) .
6. Link Social Media Accounts – My plan is to connect all of my major social media accounts (Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Academia.edu) with the WordPress site as well as with each other when possible. I also would like to create a method or process for cross-posting resources, whether personally created or curated. (Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; McGinnis, 2012).
Step Three: Create & Share
7 & 8. Create & Maintain Blogs – I basically have two professional identities because I work three jobs. My full time job is as an educational consultant\instructional coach. Currently, this position is focused on social studies, but I have done instructional technology in the past. My other two jobs are as an Adjunct Instructor of History at the college level. My unique value proposition aligns with both of these positions – to find a way to help history teachers harness digital technologies and to help all online teachers improve instruction through design. As such, I want to create blogs for each interest. I plan to use the social studies blog as a way to share and highlight ideas that we are working on in my district. My second blog will feature strategies I use in my own classroom as well as information I come across as I research. Both may include reflections as well. From time to time, I may crosspost on each blog as the situation fits. I plan to blog weekly at minimum. (Kujawski, 2012; Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; Taub, 2012)
9. Share Professional Work – As mentioned previously, I have lots of professional presentations, resources, lesson plans, and now academic papers to share online. I plan to upload the resources and lesson plans to my blog and sharing them on social media as free downloads. I intend to post the academic works I have written in the past, such as my master’s thesis, as well the papers I write in the doctoral program on Academia.edu (Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; Posner et al., 2012)
10. Create a Google Alert – Several of the authors recommended creating a Google Alert with your own name to track any information being shared about yourself. I intend on creating one and will have it directed to my personal gmail account (Kujawski, 2012; Lowenthal & Dunlap, 2012; Posner et al., 2011).
Kujawski, M. (2012). Tools and tips for managing your personal digital footprint [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/mikekujawski/tools-and-tips-for-managing-your-personal-digital-footprint
Lowenthal, P., & Dunlap, J. (2012, June). Intentional web presence: 10 SEO strategies every academic needs to know. Educause Review. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/intentional-web-presence-10-seo-strategies-every-academic-needs-know
McGinnis, S. (2012, August 23). Online reputation management: A how-to guide [web log post]. Retrieved from http://spinsucks.com/communication/online-reputation-management-a-how-to-guide/
Posner, M., Varner, S., Croxall, B. (2011, February 14). Creating your web presence: A primer for academics [web log post]. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/creating-your-web-presence-a-primer-for-academics/30458
Taub, A. (2012, June). 5 key things needed to improve your digital identity. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/alextaub/2012/06/07/5-key-things-needed-to-improve-your-digital-identity/