5 Lessons I’ve Learned About Digital Identity

Back in my Sophomore year, I made a rather early “rough draft” for my Digital Portfolio as part of my final grade for Into to Digital Studies. It doesn’t look that great right now, but I’m sure it will look a lot better once I sit down and work on it for a good amount of time and incorporate what I learned from the three websites that I looked at to learn about Digital Identity.

The first lesson that I learned involved advertising your work. Looking at the Professor McClurken’s site, I noticed that he has listed probably everything that he was involved with directly on the homepage and even the side menu. Doing this is rather important for your Digital Identity. Whenever someone stumbles across your name online and end up at your website, they can easily learn more about you and contributions online. It could even lead them to collaborate with you if they have similar interests and arguments as you.

However, in order for them to collaborate with you they need  some contact information. That is the second lesson I learned from browsing the websites. You don’t need to put your phone number, but your e-mail is a must and possibly your Twitter and Facebook if you don’t mind future colleagues looking at them. If you didn’t list any online contact information then how would one expand their Digital Identity?

To continue on the thought of social media being viewed by your boss, another lesson to keep in mind is linking to profiles that you want others to view and have your personal accounts private. It’s best to keep in mind that you shouldn’t post anything that could ruin the Digital Identity that you’ve already worked hard on while using those public accounts. One wrong post could ruin everything and there really isn’t a way to start over since once something is posted online, even if it is later deleted, it still can be found online.

If still don’t want to risk using your social media then one of the last lessons should cover that. When making your Digital Portfolio, you should include a short biography informing the viewer about yourself and how you contribute online. Not everyone that ends up on your site will know you, so why not tell them about you? A bio helps them learn about you and understand why you are involved in certain topics. For example, if I blog online about privacy issues and someone decides to check out my website, I would have a bio that mentions how I am in the Digital Studies field and how I’ve worked on projects involving privacy before.

One final lesson that I learned from viewing McClurken’s site, Fleshing Out the Digital Selves in Practice article, and the Controlling Your Public Appearance article. would be keeping your Digital Portfolio simple. You don’t want to startle or scare away potential followers by having crazy colors and a wacky background, unless your online identity is wacky and crazy. What you really want is to have the tone of your website match with the tone of your online persona. If they didn’t match, there would be confusion and possible negative feedback towards you and your works.

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One Response to 5 Lessons I’ve Learned About Digital Identity

  1. Kathleen MacIndoe says:

    I absolutely agree that an important component that accompanies a digital identity is wanting to be found. Wanting to exist online as secretly as possible defeats the purpose of creating a digital identity in the first place, and being online is definitely not a place to be anti-social. I am glad you explicitly stated this because it is something I have never directly thought about, but have always known to be true. This is something to keep in mind, and shows that there is a balance between being safe online and being too secretive.

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