Digital Identity for Uni finalists


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An introduction to why you want to think about your Digital Identity, and some suggestions on how to go about making your web presence support job searches.

There is a copy with a better background (paler) at

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  • Brief introduction to concepts of Identity as a social construct. DI as facets of self visible to others
  • Why we base DI on Social Identity Theory – multiple roles, negotiated meaning. DI has more persistence of individual data, leading to different dynamics in progression of identity performances, can allow for segregation of roles (e.g. social/professional) but any crossover or linking can lead to persistent association between facets
  • Again, persistence is an important feature to remember, along with privacy issues to try to embrace the opportunity for multi-role/facet approaches to managing DI. Engagement with peers/audience important Show how you learn Showcase skills and knowledge through different media Make it as easy as possible to find information about you Have goals – decide what you want people to think about you and contribute to social media with those goals in mind.
  • Not just what you say that matters. You can demonstrate your belief system and your goals by acts as simple as linking, or ‘liking’
  • Would that link work for you or against you with the sort of target market of employers you might be interested in working for?
  • There can be no hard and fast Dos and Don’ts – you have to consider who your desired target audience is, and contribute to social media (and other less Web2.0 sites) in an appropriate fashion.
  • There is merit in discussing the benefits of one programming language over another, for instance, on Facebook – but it is probably more important to get involved in that sort of discussion on an appropriate forum. On the other hand, it is worth demonstrating your enthusiasm for your subject on social media, and one way of doing this is getting involved in discussions and asking questions. You don’t need to be an expert to be able to contribute to a debate
  • An exercise to engage the more artistic parts of the brain, and help audience consider what roles they play.
  • Don’t worry about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – it is generally pretty much a waste of time. Point potential employers to the content you want them to see, but don’t just give them the web address – find some searches on Google (or search engine of choice) which return your material. Why? Because the person looking you up wants to feel they have searched independently but by giving them hints (e.g. try a search for “Pat Parslow” Digital Identity) you are enabling them to save time, and pointing them towards the right results – and not those relating to someone different.
  • Digital Identity for Uni finalists

    1. 1. Digital Identity Forming the concept of self through social narrative
    2. 2. Social Identity Theory <ul><li>Tajfel and Turner, 1979 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity is formed through social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different identities formed for different roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Child, student, friend, team-mate, lover… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Digital Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Same theory, mediated through online interaction </li></ul>
    3. 3. Many channels <ul><li>Facebook, email, IM, Twitter, MySpace, Hi5, LinkedIn,… </li></ul><ul><li>How can you use these to promote yourself to potential employers/clients? </li></ul><ul><li>What special considerations are there due to communication being on the internet? </li></ul><ul><li>Think. </li></ul>
    4. 4. I ‘liked’ this and ‘shared’ it… <ul><li>Dear Mandy </li></ul>
    5. 5. Dear Mandy… <ul><li>What might potential employers think? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He pirates music/software? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He spends all day on Youtube? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He likes *shudder* rap? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or maybe… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He champions the rights of the citizen? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He has a sense of humour? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He cares deeply about fairness and justice? </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. You can’t please all of the people all of the time… <ul><li>If you have no visible presence online, or </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a carefully manicured profile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some people think you are cautious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others think you have something to hide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you have occasional outbursts, or dodgy photos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some people think you aren’t careful enough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others think you are a rounded, real, human being </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. What you say, Where you say it <ul><li>The context of what you ‘say’ online is often as important as what you say. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Same is true offline, of course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difference is global audience and persistence of information (and risk of copy/paste or screen shots) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your Digital Identity is not just what you write </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other people can say stuff about you too – when was the last time you Googled yourself? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. What do you ‘look like’ on the Net? Pick 3 roles – sketch a ‘face’ showing how you might be seen by others… Role :
    9. 9. Face(t)s of your Digital Identity Role :
    10. 10. Face(t)s of your Digital Identity Role :
    11. 11. Keywords <ul><li>What are your interests? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your skills? </li></ul><ul><li>Create some web content (static or on social media) which illustrates these </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite people to comment on your content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thank them for it, accept criticism where appropriate, stand your ground where necessary </li></ul></ul>