“But above all else, seriously, create a public Internet identity, maintain it, link to it, build it, love it, hug it, and call it George. I can’t tell you how important this is.” – Danah Boyd
What’s in a name?
I thought Danah Boyd’s blog on ‘Controlling Your Public Appearance’ offered some great advice and loved the above quote! George… it’s a great name for a public Internet identity! And since we’re talking ‘brand’, I guess this would be a good place to explain why I chose ‘Peripheral Device’ (and not George) for my blog name. Two reasons:
1. I just love the word Peripheral
2. Here is Wikipedia’s definition of a Peripheral Device:
“A peripheral is a device connected to a host computer, but not part of it, and is more or less dependent on the host. [...]It expands the host’s capabilities, but does not form part of the core computer architecture. “
…to me that sounded just like what a personal-professional blog is and does (If I were metaphorically a computer).
The Brand – Reflection
One of the things that attracted me to working in librarianship is the push throughout the profession to get involved with new technology and social media and to keep up with the latest developments. When I was a student, I loved e-resources and if only they’d had iPad loans in my day…. So before I joined the profession I already had a kind of on-line presence with accounts on Live Journal, MySpace, FaceBook, DeviantArt, Goodreads and Twitter. However, I’d always used nicknames because these accounts were ‘just for fun’ hobbies.
The first thing I did when I became a trainee was make a new Twitter account using my real name, that I could use in a more professional capacity. I did this partly because it’s what everyone else seemed to be doing but also because I was quite happy for people to be able to find me this way. This is also why I chose to use a photograph of myself – though in doing this post, I’ve realised I need to put one on my blog too! I also need to work on matching my ‘visual brand’ across platforms and am quite looking forward to making a Twitter background to match my blog’s theme colours and design (I do love Photoshop!)
At the moment I tend to keep professional and personal things separate because I find it easier and I’m not sure if the professional world would like to know who I support in F1, what I’ve been drawing or what book I’ve reviewed that week. It’s definitely something I need to work on as I’d rather have a more ‘profersonal’ approach – I’m not much of an open book though so I’m hoping it’ll come with practice.
The Google Search
Unfortunately, (fortunately?) there happens to be a rather famous academic from Texas who shares my name so a simple search mainly brings up links to her publications and Wikipedia page! Happily though the third link down is actually to my posts on the Oxford Graduate Trainee Blog. When I add ‘Oxford’ it makes things a little better, the trainee blog takes up the top three – though my Twitter link doesn’t appear until page 2!
Nothing pops up that I wasn’t expecting and because I’ve linked to my blog via the trainee blog and my twitter via my blog it’s quite easy to find me on-line.
When I was proof-reading this post a couple of things that I’d mentioned about myself seemed to jump out – I like new technology and following new developments, I like being creative (Photoshop!) and I like books even when I’m not at work(book reviews!) I hope this translates into a ‘brand’ which shows I’m professional, forward thinking and creative – but I’d also like my ‘brand’ to say I’m helpful, friendly and keen to learn.
Interestingly and helpfully – now knowing what I’d like my brand ‘to say’ may just help me focus on ‘saying it’.