My Twitter feed is my first result (my name is @carlysharples - got in there before Miss Conservative lady clearly, hehehe), and I suppose my twitter feed, while personal, is a fair reflection of myself, my views and my interests. There's a fair number of library tweets on there that's for sure!
And what next? Oh yes, the YouTube video of myself I was required to make for work, designed to be shown to off-site and partner college students so they have a fair idea of what I look like and what I do.
I have no webpage, no LinkedIn, Facebook is not visible to anyone other than my very close friends....So I am a half hidden tweeting librarian who may, at first glance appear to be a Tory (I am not!) Definitely food for thought there I think. Delving a bit deeper and more sensibly, if you add 'Worcester' into the search you get a lovely handful of relevant results, all linked back to my work as a librarian at the University of Worcester (including a category for 'Liaison Librarians' on Zomobo...interesting! http://zomobo.net/Liaison-Librarians).
So, after a week of considering this, what conclusions have I come to?
- Branding and selling clearly aren't the same thing, but I feel like they are. Like many other people across all professions I imagine, I find the idea of constantly having to advocate for myself and my profession exhausting, but no one else is going to do my shouting for me, and developing a consistent online presence is something simple I can control.
- I am actually pretty pleased with my online presence - I want to be discovered in my professional capacity, not my personal one.
- I could do a lot more - for example, using the name 51st Century Librarian for this blog links in no way to any other aspect of my online presence, and unsurprisingly doesn't appear when I Google myself. My Twitter feed isn't personalised really, and I make no real attempt to have an online professional presence that is distinct from my employment.
Just like starting this blog, I feel trepidation about 'owning' my brand online over and above the way I'm presented through my employment. But is that all I am? Or is there more to me? I guess you'll just have to watch this space...