Creating my Digital Identity and Presence

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  

Alice in Wonderland

I have found comfort in knowing that I am not an anomaly in my MALAT cohort when it comes to having a near non-existent digital identity. Prior to last week, I never felt the need to have a digital identity nor did I recognize its value.  My digital map clearly illustrated that I was a “Visitor” and I viewed the Web as defined by White & LeCornu (2011), “[the Web] is not a ‘place’ to think or to develop ideas…,Visitors do their thinking off-line.  So Visitors are users, not members, of the Web and place little value in belonging online.” 

After taking some time to reflect upon the assigned readings, my opinions have been challenged that I need to take a new stance.  I recognize that there is value in becoming a “Resident” and that I have knowledge, experience and questions that are valuable to contribute to online networks.  So now, I have to devise a plan of how I am going to create my digital identity.  

My plan needs some goals.  They are:  

      1. To create a LinkedIn account to raise my dental professional profile.
      2. To create a Twitter account so that I am able to follow others who I have shared interests with.
      3. To develop and craft my blog into a professional portfolio of my learning and work.  

I will need to investigate the process around creating a Twitter account and LinkedIn account by seeking advice and guidance from trusted and experienced colleagues. This is personally a big step for me and I want to ensure I have control over the space I am creating and I plan to have the accounts set up by mid-May.  With my blog, I agree with the points made by Watters (2015), “[t]o own one’s own domain gives [me] an understanding of how Web technologies work.  It puts [me] in a much better position to control [my] work, [my] data, [my] identity online.” 

Currently, I feel comfortable with using digital technology and have a basic level of digital literacy.  However, there are gaps and I will need to ensure that I use my new “MALAT network” who are “Residents” to help me address these gaps.  I plan to solicit feedback, hints and tips from my peers, instructors and dental colleagues as I begin to create my digital identity.  I will also continue to read literature and ask questions to classmates and colleagues.

Measures of success will be establishing connections with my dental community and other professionals on my LinkedIn account.  Contributions to my comments section on my blog from peers and colleagues.  In addition, I will make a conscious effort to comment and engage in discussions on my classmates blogs.  My Twitter account will be established and I will be following my peers who have Twitter accounts as well as 5 professionals in the field of Learning and technology.  


Carroll, L. (2012). Alice’s adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass. Penguin Classics.

Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web we need to give students. Bright

White, D. S., & LeCornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).





8 thoughts on “Creating my Digital Identity and Presence”

  1. Hi Gail,
    Thank you for sharing your DIDP plan. I appreciate your acknowledgement that there is value to becoming a resident online. I feel some apprehension about stepping into that space as well, but I am also thankful that we as a MALAT cohort can support each other through this process. I have also identified Twitter as a space I would like to develop a presence in. I look forward with connecting with you and discussing our experiences as Twitter newbies.
    – Amber

    1. Hi Amber,
      Thank you for your comment and sharing your feelings about your apprehension about stepping into the “new frontier”. Like you I am thankful to have a diverse cohort who can support us on this journey. Yes, please let’s connect to share our Twitter experiences especially the set up. I am planning to get it set up shortly after I figure out the basics. Maybe a YouTube tutorial. Do you have a plan to set up your Twitter account? Maybe we can connect once set up and do a “tweet test” 🙂

  2. Great intro quote Gail and thank you for sharing the message from Watters (2015), owing your domain. I also see the possibilities and look forward to learning from others as you do to build on my current knowledge to find a place to bring forward things that make a domain unique. Are there many in your industry currently using digital technology as an added service? – Myrna

    1. Hi Myrna,
      Thank you for your comments. The Watters quote was a game changer for me as it addressed a feeling that i have had regarding control or feeling a loss of control. Digital technology and dental? Yes, there is a strong connection. Many dental clinics have social media accounts and connect with clients via posts and clients post feedback/experiences. Many clinic are paperless and have transition to electronic filing to insurance carriers. Newer dental services/procedures rely on technology/computers/machines for imaging or fabrication of crowns “in house” rather than a dental laboratory. I hope that answers your question.

  3. Hi Gail,
    Thanks for sharing your plan and goals. Being a resident of technologies can definitely be a challenge, but it also bring great benefits! Being involved within a community and learning all the capabilities of your platform will only make it easier to be a resident over time. For your goals, have you set specific times to check or post with your new accounts? I’ve found it helpful when adopting new technologies to set times to keep yourself on track. The phrase “it’s a marathon not a sprint” comes to mind as a good outlook that allows you to participate and not feel the need to have everything setup and working to perfection right away. Enjoy the journey! – Zac

    1. Hi Zac,
      Thank you for sharing your insight. I have some timelines in mind to get myself started. However, I may have missed setting some timelines which to check and post on the accounts. I suspect that once I get the hang on things that I’ll be able to push myself out of my comfort zone. I agree that this “is a marathon and not a sprint” so I continue to keep that in mind as i start this journey. I am known for being a bit of a slow starter out of the gate. Just need to find my groove. I’ll make sure to reach out to you for advice or support. Thanks Zac.

  4. Thanks for this Gail. Do you agree with White and LeCornu’s statement that you quoted that, “So Visitors are users, not members, of the Web and place little value in belonging online”? Do you (or rather, did you) feel like you don’t belong online?

    1. Hi Corie,
      Great question. Yes, I honestly felt that there was little value to me being online and participating in my professional networks. After taking some time to reflect on what i have read over these past few weeks, i recognize that I can find a balance of being online/leaving a digital footprint that is within my control. I had considered creating an digital profile but then questioned whether i had something valuable to contribute/say. However, I now see the benefits of connection with fellow colleagues in other areas of the world to problem solve or to collaborate. It’s a whole new world waiting for me to explore.

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