In starting up, or building your digital identity from basic scraps, or nothingness, the first step is to begin thinking about the role or representation you’d like to have online.
Write out six words to represent you…and the identity that you’d like to have online. These six words could be individual sentences, a phrase, etc. It’s totally open-ended.
Write out the six words and identify the what, why, and how you’d like to represent yourself. These six words may change over time as we develop and build up your online identity…and that is okay.
After identifying the profile of your digital identity, start to build up a hub for all of your content. This hub will be a website with blogging features. The thinking will be that this will be your one spot, or one URL online that people can use to see your work grow and evolve over time.
This spot, your digital identity, and the aesthetics of this will evolve over time, and that is perfectly fine. As you build up the website, or add a social network, or start blogging, you’ll explore and identify new features or opportunities you’d like to add to your overall identity.
The idea of evolution and maturation of your digital identity is also a key element as you need to consider that you’ve already built up a lot of content online and offline. You have content that exists in files on computers that have never been shared. You also have pictures, audio, conversations, interpersonal connections that exist offline.
You need to consider ways to go backwards and cherry-pick the “good stuff” from the past and add it to your identity. You also need to identify ways to create and archive digital copies of your current and future work so that it can join your evolving digital presence.
The end goal is to have one hub (that you control) that serves as the best representation of who you are, or who you would like to be. This is not what others write or say about you. This is not the picture that algorithms and social feeds paint of you. This is the you that is written into existence.
The benefit is that you can go back through your feed to archive, revisit, and rebuild lessons learned from your past. This is also important as people can get to know you when you first meet.
When you meet someone new, they meet you in the middle of the story. As humans in a networked society, we quickly go back and Google them to learn more about them before or after we meet. With one hub that you actively build over time, you can send them a string of posts that indicate what you’ve learned, built, and broken. You also give them the opportunity to view the identities that you want to present.
Create the “you” that you want them to meet.
Cover Image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by Stefano Corso