The first version of my digital presence and identity plan has been crafted around three core questions: Who do I want to be online? Who do I want to attract? What do I need to do based on my responses to one and two?
My ultimate goal is to build a digital identity and presence that reflects my values, those of openness, curiosity, and meaningful conversation. In a digital world, writing represents both my voice and my footprint. For about a year now, I have been slowly building my confidence on LinkedIn and finding my voice. It has involved risk tasking and discomfort at times because of the vulnerability required to put my ideas out into the public forum knowing that I cannot control what happens afterwards.
I still find myself pausing before I click “post”, in the full awareness that there is a level of personal and professional risk associated with my digital activities. I have also realized that my digital identity is directly tied to what I consume and share online. Rheingold (2010), identified critical consumption as a social media literacy requirement and I really could not agree more with the importance of being skeptical and thoughtful about digital consumption.
It is my intention to manage my digital participation in a manner that consistently highlights my personal style, while reinforcing my values (Beetham, 2015). Each time that I share content or engage in a conversation (e.g. make a comment), I will question whether my activity reflects my values and aligns with how I want to show up. To some degree, success will be measured qualitatively by the audience that responds to my activity, and the quality of the interactions and conversations that occur both in and outside of my digital space.
For the purpose of my WordPress blog, I intend to create a welcome landing page that provides an introduction to me, describes what to expect from my blog, and encourages a deeper level of participation that extends beyond transactional comments. There will also be an element of boundary setting. My intention is not to present myself as a subject matter expert, but rather to encourage shared learning and knowledge building across both my visible and invisible audiences (Boyd, 2011).
I am aware that my technical knowledge is lacking. As I encounter skills and knowledge gaps through my course work, I will determine how best to address them on a case-by-case basis. A way to identify initial gaps on an ongoing basis is to review peer blogs to understand the format, functionality, and options that exist. Once gaps are identified, I will then reach out to peers, conduct my own research, or try to figure it out through other resources and supports. The best way to reveal what I do not know, is to read, research, and increase my exposure and interaction with others in the same space, with the same goals and problems.
Presence and participation can be very challenging to measure, as discussed by Dron & Anderson (2014); my initial approach will be to measure quality over quantity. Traffic, positive or negative, is not my primary concern. Measurement will become more sophisticated over time as I build my digital literacy.
*Blog post updated on April 29, 2021 to include skills mapping.
Beetham, H. (2015, Nov 10). Building capability for new digital leadership, pedagogy and efficiency [blog post]
Boyd, D. (2011). Social network sites as networked publics: Affordances, dynamics, and implications. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A Networked Self (pp. 39–58). New York, NY: Rutledge.
Dron, J, & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching Crowds. Athabasca University Press.
Nielsen Norman Group Skill Mapping Template © By Rachel Krause, https://www.nngroup.com/articles/skill-mapping/
Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and other 21st-century social media literacies. Educause Review, 45(5), 14.