[To see the slideshow I'm talking about in this post, click the link below]
Before setting out on the journey to build up and develop a more sophisticated social identity through social media, it is firstly important to understand who you are, what the purpose of having a social media profile is and what aspects of yourself you want to showcase as part of your social media profile. In my own case, I am a 19 year old student who is aspiring to have a career in publications or be an online media content publisher. I am very expressive both visually and in writing, so I love images and composing. Since my intended career is one in online media, having an established online social media identity could be very useful in terms of promotion and professional representation. From this, I can decide which social media profiles to reinforce towards a more professional approach and which to reinforce simply for personal uses, all in all creating my entire online presence, which can be visually explained through my social media map.
My social media map shows which networks I am using and how they link and feed into one another. As shown on the map, I’m utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr (my more personal blog), Blogger (which I use simply to host my public blog, which is under my own purchased domain), Skype, Twitter and Glossi, which I use as my social media hub to all of them. My public blog is the main one which I hope to develop professionally, so I try to link to it from as many places as possible. Because of this, my public blog is linked from Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Glossi, of which Tumblr and Instagram link back to my public blog. My Tumblr blog I like to keep more personally, so I don’t link to it from anywhere, but rather I only link “outwards” to other networks from my Tumblr, like Instagram and my public blog. On the other hand, with Skype, I only link to it from Facebook and my Skype account does not direct people to anywhere else. Facebook links only to my Skype account and my public blog, and Twitter links to nowhere and only feeds into my Glossi page, as do all of my networks apart from Skype.
First let’s talk about Glossi. I chose Glossi as my hub for all my social media networks because it’s presented so visually, which I absolutely love about it. At first, I didn’t like to or see the point in feeding all of my networks into one place because I feel like it makes everything very messy and complicated. This is also the reason why I don’t feed my Instagram and blogs into my Facebook page like many others like to do. However, I created a Glossi just for the convenience of this course and now that I have, I actually really enjoy using it – most likely because it’s presented so aesthetically pleasingly. In terms of my Glossi becoming a professional space, I’m not too sure or too keen on that just yet. I do see its potential to become a very useful and convenient professional space in the future, but as of now, it’s simply a space where I was able to throw everything together without any thought or separation between my professional and personal networks.
Next let’s talk about the social networking site that I use the most often – Facebook. My Facebook profile is a pretty personal space, but similarly to my Glossi page, I’m not putting any conscious effort to separate my links or information on Facebook into personal and professional categories, nor am I intentionally trying to distance my personal Facebook page from my professional presence. So, like Glossi, Facebook so far is just a space where I can throw things together without too much analysis. I do see Facebook as a very convenient place to list all my works and experience (kind of like an online informal CV), so I suppose my Facebook could be useful professionally in the future as I’m developing my career.
The next network that I use the most often is my Instagram account, which is also a pretty personal space. I think of Instagram as a space to show my lifestyle through images, but not much more than that. I do really enjoy using it because it’s very visual and also very convenient and accessible on the go, but I don’t think it is or will be of too much use professionally later on in life. I also have my public blog linked through my Instagram profile, however I don’t think Instagram will do much for me in terms of promotion.
Now on to the blogs. I’ve tried out several different blogging sites since 2006 when I first started blogging, but I found Tumblr the most user friendly and simply laid out. My Tumblr blog quickly became a very personal space, so I don’t link to it from many other places and I don’t really want it to become a professional outlet in the future either, so I think for the time being my intentions for Tumblr would be just to leave it as is and continue using it as a personal space.
Next is my public blog, which is hosted on Blogger but published online under my own purchased domain name. The purpose of creating this blog was purely professional, hoping that I could develop it as a way to develop my presence as an online content publisher and the reason for purchasing my own domain name was also to strengthen my online identity. I created this blog hoping that when it becomes more developed that I could use it as my professional portfolio, mainly to showcase my writing skills and blogging style, combining all this with my love and interest for fashion. This is the main space that I hope to use professionally, since it is very strongly related to my aspiring career as an online media content creator and publisher.
Going back to more personal spaces, my Skype account is definitely that. I only link to my Skype account from Facebook so that only friends and family are able to reach me on Skype. I don’t really intend to use Skype as a professional channel or see how it would be useful professionally unless I am working for a firm that is located out of my place of residency, so thus far my Skype account is only to be used as a personal communication space.
Last of all is my Twitter account, which I also made just to satisfy the needs of this course. I was always very reluctant to use Twitter as I couldn’t see the point of it nor how I should be using it. I definitely find Twitter the hardest out of all my social media networks to grasp the concept of and consistently struggle to find things to tweet about. I’m trying to use it as a personal space now to start off, but I think it would serve me more usefully as a convenient professional communication tool in the future, so I’m going to keep trying to develop it.
To wrap up, I think so far my social media identity is doing pretty well in terms of combining visual and written representations of myself with photos and my blogs. Before this course, I was always reluctant to use Twitter and created it as little more than an academic experiment, however, now I do definitely see its potential in the future even if I’m struggling to use it as a personal space right now. Likewise, I was reluctant to combine the feeds of more than one network, yet after creating a Glossi account, I realized it’s really just a matter of how it’s all presented on the page, and I think Glossi presents the different feeds really well and understandably. I definitely still have a fair way to go in terms of developing a professional social media presence, so I would like to further build up my public blog and also my Twitter account towards a more professional approach and just continue to use my personal spaces as just that.
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