Looking at myself in the online mirror

I’m ashamed to be so behind on DH23 Thing 2 Building an Online Identity, but I spent so long looking at the reflection of myself offered by the internet that I got a bit behind. Who isn’t so vain that they regularly google themselves to check how they appear? I’m proud to say that when you google me almost all of the websites that come up in the first page of results are me, so I am visible. Reassuringly, I’m visible in ways I’d like to be: at CRASSH, articles on Milton’s Language and Disney (not together, although not that I’m ruling that out for the future), erstwhile editor of Europe’s one and only magazine dedicated to self-service kiosks (although my entry on their website still lists me as working there and invites you to contact me with any ideas for stories. Please don’t!) and my LinkedIn and academia.edu pages come up. This blog doesn’t yet come up, which I’m happy with for the moment until it has some content that is pure navel-gazing.

The first few images are also me and are ones I’ve intentionally leaked to the uninterested public: one of me reading, one of me in a red dress and one of me genuflecting in front of a statue of Tennyson. Oddly, many of the other images aren’t images of me but are ones I’ve uploaded (hence a few self-service machines creep in).

Both Google and Socialmention autocomplete Ruth Rushworth Cambridge, which works for me as I have no plans to move for the moment. Ruth Rushworth CRASSH is also one of the searches. Helen asked us to think of what people might search for if they were looking for someone like us but not us. That’s a hard question! I’m not sure yet what front I want to present to the world wide web so I’m going to think about this question of identity as we go through the rest of the DH23 programme.

At the moment this blog isn’t integrated with any of my other online outlets except that I have my Twitter feed embedded in the blog. Once I’ve thought more about how I want to appear online I think it’ll become clearer how much I want to link between different platforms. I have created a gravatar profile but more than anything that’s to help me keep track of the different platforms I sign up to as I go through this programme.

I’m certainly happy that only my professional life appears online and hope I can maintain this. As to how many professional personae I have or should have… I think the point made in DH23Things that one needs to inhabit an identity separate to your institutional one holds as much for admin staff as for researchers, if not more. For someone working as an e-comms professional, having an online presence would seem like a must-have. My challenge at the moment is how and where to build one up.

I also need to think of a succinct way to present myself to the world for the about page of this blog and elsewhere but as DH Thing 3 is already out, I’ll leave that on my to do list for the moment.

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7 thoughts on “Looking at myself in the online mirror

  1. This kind of exercise is really useful for nudging former employers to update their websites – you move on, and leave it all behind, but don’t realise that it looks as if you’re still there! Likewise it’s irritating when you join somewhere new and for months your predecessor’s name is everywhere, which makes it difficult for someone handling a changeover and trying to establish themselves, not just be ‘the new X’. Somehow updating an online identity isn’t always an immediate priority for employers, but it should be, as much as having your name on the door!

    When googling yourself, I never used to realise the importance of checking the images tab – this is where the most embarrassing surprises can be…

  2. also – I’m interested to know what additional uses you’ve fond for Gravatar. I mostly use it so I don’t have to keep filling in my details when commenting in situations such as this (at the moment, it’s using my WordPress account, but if you were using, say, Blogger, gravatar would fill in my details for me). Maybe I should explore it more!

    • I guess gravatar is mainly useful for comments but I can imagine using it as an online business card with links to websites and channels I’m using. Its problem is probably that you can also be one person on it – rather than a communications person and a musician, you’d have to be one or the other or try and be both at the same time.

  3. Pingback: Anyone want to hire me? « another rambler

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