How To Manage Your Online Identity

by on April 10th, 2012

Today’s post is written by Daniel Mbure.  Daniel is a writer, strategist and web entrepreneur for publications including Degree Jungle. He contributes to a number of technology websites exploring the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship.

We live in a connected world. In the past we had business cards, hard-copy resumes, and a real-world reputation that we had to manage. The advent of the Internet and the so-called connected existence has blurred the line between our physical and virtual realities. With a barrage of web service and applications that slowly but surely stitch together a virtual identity almost as strong and as compelling as our physical one, the need to take a step back and work out a way of managing our online reputation has become paramount. From social media, to personal blogs, to search results, the importance and complexity of the digital life has truly come of age.

Online identity management is as important to your reputation as possibly any other thing touching directly on your life. Here, we cover the broad areas of managing the multifaceted world of your digital identity.

Social Media

Social media is here to stay. A decade back, no one thought much about social media and especially not the depth with which it would become intimately connected to our personalities, habits and, in some instances, our very lives. If you have an account with one of the popular social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, then you have a social media identity already. For many people, their social media accounts are a place to let loose and truly let out their innermost sentiments, whether positive or negative.

This was the case a while back, yet this is slowly changing. Today, when you meet someone, the first thing they do when they learn your name is to look for your social media profile. If what they find is great, then you have made a great first impression; if not, then you are in trouble. In order to manage your online reputation, make sure you have all the privacy controls in place to shield any content you do not want exposed to the public. In addition, use more discretion when posting content as in some cases, this content may come to haunt you in the future.

Blogs and Personal Websites

You cannot effectively create a great online reputation without having your own personal blog or website. Think of a blog as a PR company that works exclusively for you; it will tell the world what you want it to say. If you do not want to register your own website, there are services that offer a great platform for personal digital identity management and these include About Me and LinkedIn. You may also open a free blog on one of the popular blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger or TypePad. The best thing about owning and running a personal blog is that you offer the world your version of who you are. This makes it possible to build your own personal brand and project the sort of image that best represents you and not letting the laws of Nature decide for you.

These two areas are very important when managing your digital identity and reputation as they form the bulk of the content about you that is floating around on the Internet. Gone are the days when first impressions were made when people met; today, the first impression is made when someone “Googles” your name and forms an opinion based on your digital identity and reputation. Start working on your digital identity and reputation today and prepare effectively for future encounters.

How do you manage your online identity?

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