Who am I? I am Greg I know who I am, I have a pretty good idea of how people see me. I know this because meeting me in person you have my body language, the way I talk and what I talk about to draw your own conclusions. Online identity is a completely different kettle of fish. Vlogger Justine Ezarik reflects
“When I found the internet, I realised I didn’t have to go anywhere to travel the world. I didn’t have to be Justine from the middle of nowhere, I could be whoever I wanted. I chatted with strangers and invented elaborate backstories far more interesting than my own, and started for the first time , like I was part of some sort of community” Ezarik 15
We are in charge of our image, our identity, this message varies from what platforms you participate in, who you are as a person even down to what one’s end goal is for there online participation.
“ Here we are a construct of our real world self, collated , edited and presented . A profile and displayed connections present a set of signals to potential audiences, which are interpreted by viewers to gauge the credibility and reliability of information that they are viewing “ Papacharissi 09
Then there is my blog a curated repository of all I wish to present. I use imagery, text, and links to purvey a sense of my professional identity. I have had feedback that possibly my site lacks a bit of focus, particularly as far as my personal brand. The site is a depositary of my creative work and my online image as a creative person. Utilising it, I link to various folios of work when applying for a professional engagement. My blog speaks about all that I am passionate about, it shows my abilities over several media forms and promotes me the person.
Susanne Markgren in her paper about online portfolios says
“ Your online portfolio is basically your resume, deconstructed on a website” She also refers to branding “The public and projection of an individuals identity , personality , values skills and abilities” Markgren 11
So based upon this I have to ask myself, Is my Blog or even my use of other platforms helping or hindering my brand. When I started building my online personas I don’t think I had an end goal in mind. It has always concerned me that one doesn’t tie into another.
My showreel is my calling card as an editor. It’s my identity to other professionals, it is a representation of my life work. My showreel has always been a bone of contention for me. How do you represent who you are or what you are in under two minutes? Especially considering I am a storyteller and a multi-skilled person who shoots, edits is a photographer, has a lot of experience and knowledge.
A finished edit with a piece from here and a piece from there, in my opinion, doesn’t truly show what you are capable of. My last reel I even consulted another editor who helped me put it together. The way I got around the shortcomings of the showreel format, was to link to full pieces I have done. This is accomplished with links on my Blog and any applications I might send out. That way it gives the person the option of both. Whilst this isn’t perfect, at this stage that is what I use.
Let’s face it nowadays if you are applying for a position, the employer will google you looking for that one mistake that shows you might be dishonest or not all your cracked up to be. So googling myself with the this in mind, I came up with a poet from the United States, adding Greg Orr Video Editor, the person is presented with my blog and links to my different folios. What I found fascinating about this, my identity is my other less professional personas were lower down in the search. Susanna Margren also speaks to this “Now you have a professional online identity, you need to monitor it, search your name regularly and make sure you can find yourself”
Facebook started as one thing and developed into another. It started as a way to follow my favorite musicians, actors writers tv shows etc. But as time grew it became a lot more. Discovering Facebook groups in their infancy was a revelation to me. In my real life, where I didn’t have anyone to share my differing passions with I now had the world. Now I could discuss the latest drone technology or debate complex topics or even argue what was Paul McCartney’s best solo record. Here I can be myself hidden behind a persona and not afraid to express myself. People who don’t agree with what I say fire back at my persona. Somehow this isn’t as confronting as someone confronting me in real life. Its almost like you have a 3rd wall infant of you to protect you and your feelings. Here I am a reviewer, a challenger of ideas and sometimes I share pieces of media into groups for their critique.
Critiquing isn’t always done with words, what I have learned is that each network has different ways to show praise or displeasure for certain content.
“In the absence of sufficient relational cues, individuals in social networking sites take the initiative to develop their own codes for communicating likes or dislikes, interest and depth of association with others, as these individuals present themselves online “( PAPACHARISSI ,2006)
Recently I have completed a project, a short film for which I started a Facebook project page. Very few comment but I get constant views and constant likes. In the Facebook world, the language of the like button and having many likes gives the online me, an air of legitimacy and confidence that brings others to view the project. It is a bit like you turning up to a restaurant that is empty or one that is full, which would you choose.
Twitter the micro blogging platform, is the most recent platform I have partaken in. For me, Twitter has been more of an enigma than a straightforward platform to understand. I believe this is why its usage is far below that of Facebook. Someone coming to Twitter from Facebook has to understand, all its different elements such as hashtags and what its used for.
“Twitter has been likened to a giant party where you know no one but wish to make many friends. In contrast, Facebook would be a wedding reception filled with family and friends.” Tagtmeier 2010
Without sticking to the rules and an unwritten formula, the challenge of getting interaction is harder.
“The ideal Twitter profile should consist of “about 30% conversational @replies, 30% retweets and 40% interesting broadcast tweets, hopefully with an opinion or link, of which only about 25% (10% of total tweets) are self-promotional.” In other words, a successful Twitter campaign honestly connects with its followers” Tagtmeier 2010
For me, I have used it for many different uses, from promoting Ebay sales promoting my different projects to again including oneself in discussions about one’s passions. But unlike Facebook, unto recently I haven’t got that interaction the Facebook groups gave me. What has changed recently has been my better use of hashtags. I still can’t kick the feeling, I have to work harder to get that interaction level on Twitter.
Linkedin has always been a important tool for me. It links all my social media together as well as being the tool I use to keep my resume and to network.
“Online communities have paved new paths for job seeking in the computer-mediated communication (CMC) environment” (Ikenberry, Hibel, & Freedman, 2010)
Whilst Linkedin is nowhere the size of either Facebook or Twitter, it has other advantages. Most professional power brokers in my field are on the platform, making it an easy and useful tool to network grow relationships and share projects, writings or folio material. I do all 3 personally and have met some fantastic people through the platform who have shared their expertise and given there time. The messaging system is great, it allows you to send someone a note and intern they can see who you are and your work history. In my opinion, it’s a win-win. Because platforms like Twitter are so open, busy professionals can get spammed heavily and receive messages not relevant to their end goals. Somehow LinkedIn feels different, it’s professional where professional discussions and activities are done. I have built up a large network within Linkedin which is basically a community. I have added asked people to join my network whom I have met in real life, and approached those I haven’t met with a short note explaining why I would like them on my network. I Use these contacts to follow up jobs, the network for any opportunities.
Below is a visual representation using slides of my uses for the various platforms I use, and how I utilise their features.
Tagtmeier, c, 2010. Facebook vs. Twitter: Battle of the Social Network Stars. Information Today, [Online]. Available at: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/sep10/tagtmeier.shtml [Accessed 23 November 2017].
PAPACHARISSI, Z, 2009. The virtual geographies of social networks: a comparative analysis of Facebook, LinkedIn and ASmallWorld. new media & society, [Online]. . Available at: https://goo.gl/YzG2p8 [Accessed 22 November 2017]
Ezarik, J., 2015. An Analog Memoir. 1st ed. united states: Keywords Press.
Markgren, S, 2017. Ten simple steps to create and manage your professional online identity. Academia, [Online]. Available at: https://goo.gl/V49K2x [Accessed 22 December 2017]