Digital Dirt

April 23, 2009

VisualCV.com: a great new tool to expand you professional digital footprint

I just came across a great resource for expanding your active, and positive, digital footprint for the purposes of job hunting.

The website, VisualCV.com, provides a network for you to really bring your experience and expertise to life.  Yes, it is another site to maintain, but it does serve an important role among your existing social networks and professional sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter, etc.

resumeI found VisualCV through a webinar.  Save an hour of your life and just read the details below.  The presenter, Karen Masullo, noted that the key to Web 2.0 and job hunting is transparency in the tools you use, and the information you communicate with those tools.  “You are brand you” is what she says (cute right?) so it is important to be aware of the way you are representing yourself online.

I have outlined similar steps before, but these are much clearer and more action oriented:

1) Search yourself (on Google, Yahoo, and so on).  Find out what Dirt is out there on you.  Is it positive or negative?  It is too personal, or not personal enough?  Also make sure to search nicknames, alternate spellings of your name, your email address, and even you social security number (I added that last tip).

2) Create new valuable content to push down the bad search results (if they exist).  She says you need a sound “organic search strategy [SEO].”  Duh.  Easier said than done.  I think she means this: where ever you are creating an active footprint online, you need to use terms that relate your area of expertise so you get credit for them in organic search.  Linking those closely to your name should do the trick (I think so anyway).

3) Market yourself:

  • Have a 90-second “elevator speech” prepared [in writing] and make sure you are communicating what makes YOU special
  • Have a VisualVC (I think she threw that in there because, well, it was a VisualCV.com webinar)
  • Have a LinkedIn profile
  • Keep a blog (um, check)
  • Use Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, etc, etc, etc.  I think she means to say here: “have a freakin’ presece online.”

So what is a VisualCV?  It’s a neat little way to keep your professional experience up to speed for everyone to see.  She calls it a “perminate professional archive of your work history.”  Check mine out here!  You should update it often, even every few days.  You might be thinking, “isn’t that what LinkedIn is for?”  That’s what I thought too.  But she delineates between the two: LinkedIn is for networking and highlighting your overall experience, education, and so on.  A VisualCV is for keeping a running tab on your work.  AND it is more visual, as the name suggests.  You have the opportunity on VisualVC.com to add video of your work, PDFs, letters of recommendation, association and corporate logos, etc.

The important thing to note is that you need to tie all the pieces of your professional digital footprint together.  Links to and from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and you VisualCV are important because each should serve a different and specific purpose.

Blatantly obvious tip that you should have learned in high school (unless the internet didn’t exist then) is to have an email address that resembles  Firstname.Lastname@whatever.com.  Not dannyiscuteandsexy@smalltinyanimals.com

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April 22, 2009

Book Lovers Unite…

Filed under: Random but Interesting — Tags: , , , — Danny Petre @ 12:13 pm

… or else we will all be illiterate.  Not really. 

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My new favorite site is one called “Goodreads.com“.  It is essentially a social network for book lovers.  An online book club if you will. I always say, “you can tell a lot about a person by the books they read.”  Okay, I’ve never said that, but I think it’s true.  So, to me, this site is yet another catalyst for spreading your Dirt… your literary digital footprint.

I encourge you to sign up.  You can follow your friends, like Twitter, and see what they have read, are reading, or want to read. Like most sites there is a rating system so you can the the WHOLE WORLD know how you feel.  The empowered consumer for sure. I love books and I hope this site encourages others to love them too.

March 18, 2009

The Google Mistrial—A New Check and Balance

Filed under: Digital Footprint Trends — Tags: , , , , , — Danny Petre @ 8:21 am

justice_scale

Obama’s wish is coming true: transparency in government is here. That is, transparency in the courtroom. As reported on the front page of the New York Times today jurors are using web technology on cell phones (and some using the internet at home) to do outside research on the trial they are sitting in on. Often, the information that jurors find would have been dismissed by the judge for some reason or another.

It might be called a Google mistrial. The use of BlackBerrys and iPhones by jurors gathering and sending out information about cases is wreaking havoc on trials around the country, upending deliberations and infuriating judges. –NYTimes.com.

So the question is: in the era of consumerism, should digital information (digital footprints if you will) be as a source of information for jurors to form their opinion? Who’s to say, besides the judge of course, that information found on Wikipedia isn’t a ligament way to inform arguments on all sides of a trial? We have allowed video cameras in the courtroom many times before (think OJ Simpson saga) why can’t jurors post Twitter updates to inform their “followers” of the courtroom happenings?

Granted I’m not a legal expert but it seems to me that today we are continuing to see a shift from government and business control of information (e.g. speaking to the public) to an age of consumerism (e.g. the publics willing consumption of information). Government needs to begin to understand he power that various technologies give the public. President Obama did with his campaign and continues to do so in office. (That was the first time I wrote “President Obama” and it felt really good!) Brands that realize that they are not “brand managers” but consumers are will be better off in the future.

Our illustrious professor, Jim Eiche, reminds us that brands are “a reputation.” Today that reputation lives online as we read consumer reviews, search for information, and seek the opinions of our friends. To me, this is the true democratization of information and it is essential to our lives… even if we are jurors.

February 17, 2009

Playing in the Mud

 

Me Playing in Literal Mud

Me Playing in Literal Mud

Over the past three weeks I have intentionally been expanding my Digital Dirt.  An active and healthy digital footprint, like your sex life, can help you in many ways.  First, it helps get the the “good” Dirt about you higher in search results.  Second, it allows you to have some sense of control over the information that is out there on you.   Active creation of your digital footprint is the only way you can actually “control” your Dirt, for your passive digital footprint the best you can do is manage it. 

 

What I have done:

I started a Twitter account.  In the past three weeks I have only Twitted (I think that is the/a verb) three times.  I am struggling to fit Twitter into my daily online behavior.  I am constantly on Facebook, my iGoogle page, LinkedIn, and various blogs (this one included), but I can’t seem to find time to obsessively Twit.  Oh well…  Maybe when I’m done with grad school and I have more free time.

A bigger step: I have registered two domain names: dannypetre.com and danielpetre.com.  Since I am relatively remedial at building a website I have been consulting The Site Wizard for guidance.  A very helpful site that walks you through step-by-step from selecting domain names, to selecting a web host, and finally the actual design of the site.  I will keep everyone posted on when my site goes live.  Hopefully within the next week.  I used GoDaddy to register my domains and they have been very helpful, but their site usability is trash.  I let them know that when they made their follow-up call this morning.

 

So, what should I include on my website?  Recommendations are welcome!

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