Curate Yourself: Support Your Identity Online

Curate Yourself: Support Your Identity Online

(Used with permission from Inc.com)

Curate is a popular buzzword these days—but why?

It’s simple: the Internet is most people’s primary research mechanism and curation is the way to ensure they get the best, most accurate and current information possible.

[Get to know the ins and outs of the Internet with a free introductory computer science course.]

So how do you do that?

Decide what defines you.  What should people know about you?  Maybe it’s just the based-in-fact basics.  Perhaps it’s the professional you—establishing your expertise in a certain field or niche industry knowledge.  Could be a passion for a certain hobby (like serious amateur photography).  It’s easy to narrow down with a simple litmus test: Is this the primary information I want people to know about me? Then, make sure everything you do online reinforces how you want to be known.

Embrace the Big Three.  If you’re not one of the 200 million professionals on LinkedIn, what’s stopping you?  It frequently shows up well in search results—and a clean, well-organized profile says you’re savvy about self-presentation.  Actively reaching out to others and building your connections says you’re smart about networking.  Likewise, another no-brainer: Twitter and Facebook profiles that align with your communication goals.

[New to LinkedIn? See Adventures of a 50-Year-Old Intern: Do I Need a LinkedIn Profile Photo?]

Explore other options. Use good judgment but invest some time in developing yourself on other sites (and there is no shortage to pick from).  For example, Resume.com is a free online resume builder with a great interface that tends to rank well in search results.  Hardcore hobbyist?  There’s guaranteed to be a Web community to join, whether you’re a knitting enthusiast (hello, Ravelry!) or a tea tippler (here’s looking at you, Steepster).

Set up your site.  I’ve said it before but it bears repeating—it’s cheap, easy and effective to buy your own web domain.  And it’s even simpler to point a blog you establish to that domain name.  Your easiest option?  Set up a Tumblr account, which can be as low maintenance as posting a photo with a caption, and link it to your personalized website.  WordPress and Blogger are also good choices.

Once you’re up and running, your work is not over.  Update, update, update!  Current content is king when it comes to your search results.

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