Thing 3 is all about managing your online identity, and involved the rather interesting exercise of Googling myself and seeing what came up.
I was not surprised by the the results: the first led to the staff profiles section of my library’s website, the second to my ORCiD profile, and the third and fifth to links on other people’s websites mentioning previous training I had delivered, and a journal edition I edited with several other students, back when I was a postgraduate. The first photos that come up in Google Images are all of me, and are professional photos that appear on my library’s website, followed by an old staff photo taken at a library where I worked previously. There were some links to Facebook profiles that did not belong to me (but not my own Facebook account), which I think is inevitable, given that my name is fairly common, but nothing that I found unduly troubling.
You might have noticed that I’ve outlined all these results without actually linking to them or mentioning my own name. This feeds into the unease I touched upon in my previous post in this series, where I wrote:
While I am a fairly early adopter of blogs and other social media tools such as Twitter (I have been blogging since 2003 and on Twitter since 2009), I have always been much more comfortable using them in a social and personal, rather than professional, context.
I like to keep my personal and professional lives firmly separated, and I hope that I’ve been fairly successful in doing so. However, this does have a drawback, in that my professional blog (i.e. this blog) and Twitter account are not linked to my real name (and indeed I feel quite uncomfortable doing so, even though my colleagues in my workplace know that they are mine, read my blog, and follow my Twitter account, and it’s fairly easy to find out who I am if you read this blog carefully). This means that my Twitter feed and professional blog do not come up in searches for my name – which could be a problem if I were ever to apply for a job that required applicants to demonstrate familiarity and engagement with social media. I may have to get over my discomfort of using my real name in a social media context!
I am of course aware that my search results are going to be somewhat skewed towards sites that I go to regularly, and other people’s Google searches of my name may not get the hits mine did, but it was relieving to know that rather than having privacy concerns or embarrassing photos surface, my problem is almost the opposite – there’s not much of me online, unless you know where to look!