I recently attended a training and info session how Web 2.0 tools can help raise one’s online profile.  It was a great session on raising awareness of how I, a noob of a PhD, can (and should) use the web for shameless self-promotion. Now I’m aware that the internet is a powerful engine for connecting people, networking, collaboration etc. etc. etc. but then actually applying my taken-for-granted knowledge to myself is, for me, a whole new experience. Sure, if I want to find out about anything I go to the web.  Google whatever key word I think of and ta-da I hopefully get what I’m looking for. So the first question the trainer asked us to do is to actually Google yourself.

I repeat:  GOOGLE yourself.

It sounds like the ultimate narcissistic task – I mean who really Googles themselves?  Well…I did, and this is what I get on Thursday the 24th March, 2011.

It was a strange feeling of relief and disappointment to read the results.  On one hand, there weren’t any dodgy photos or questionable material associated with my name yet at the same time, there was nothing other than my Twitter account.

I realise that I’m at an advantage in this respect because there aren’t many people in the world with my name.  And if there are, they aren’t coming up on a Google search.

This made me wonder about my own web presence and my career prospects.  If a prospective employer or new contact were to Google me, what would they get?  Since at the moment no one finds out much, then they would have to find alternative ways to find out more about me and my research.  And how can I use the power of the internet to my advantage in order to advertise my research area?

The training session gave me a lot to think about and so I decided to see what would happen in 3 months time if I increased my web presence by:

– Creating a website

– Maintaining this blog (weekly, with good intentions)

– Sorting out my Twitter account

– Adding a link to each of the previous three websites to the other websites that I’m signed into

I’m wondering if I set up my area of Web 2.0 will my Google hits change? I’ll see in three months time!

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