Personal Profiles Online

 

Watch out where you post what!

Entrusting social networks with your most precious data is a risky game and has an impact on your private and professional life, the more that you lose control over your data as soon as you publish; just read the terms and conditions of the respective networks.

Social Network Profiles

A recent study by Jobvite found that recruiters look at candidates public profiles on social networks to learn more about their professional experience, whether they have published profession related posts and to find out more about whether the applicant fits into the company’s cultural environment.

The most popular sites targeted by such inquiries are

  • LinkedIn  (94%
  • Facebook  (65%)
  • Twitter  (55%)

While LinkedIn is predominantly a network where people profile themselves for professional reasons, Twitter and namely Facebook attract people more often for other reasons, such as entertainment, fun, communication with friends, leisure and also gaming.

All social networks suggest their own format for profiles. You have little flexibility and the image reflected is certainly incomplete, often mixed and depending on your purpose for joining the concerned network.

Suppose you have your profile as a top notch professional on LinkedIn and then you create a Facebook profile in function of your social ambitions for leisure and eventually for finding a partner. The two profiles are not directed at the same audience nor do they have the same purpose. Together they may appear incompatible for a recruiter.

If then you use your twitter account merely to communicate with friends about your social life, home beer brewing, hustling and party time, you are done!

Solutions?

Searching for solutions may lead you to some interesting public discussions on social networks, blogs or forums.

Some people suggest that it is stupid to go online with your real name, others claim that your profile should be aimed to do the utmost to keep a clean reputation (what ever that means online). Yet others suggest, that personal and professional profiles should never be published by your-self on a social network considering that the use of your data is far from being transparent and will be abused for all sorts of commercial purposes which have not much to do with your interests.

And then there are those people who will never read this post because they have said good-bye to any online activity.

One thing remains clear: social networks grow and live off profiles and contributions. By publishing to a social network you contribute to the success of the social network, its share price and finally the income of the owners. What’s in for you? Often rather nothing, unless you let the social networks work for you.

The success of social networks is measured in function of the almighty traffic, number of users (profiles), logins and contributions; the more of all of this, the more advertising money will flow … but not into your pocket. To convert profiles into cash, digital profiling, selling user data, behavior and more is necessary. I this really what you want and what you have published your data for?

Of course, it’s a give and take: you get free access to the network and you pay with your identity (profile) and contributions as well as with the association of your name with ads.

Alternatives

I am not among those who see the solution in simply quitting the internet;  that is hardly possible anyway, since if and what you don’t publish your friends and enemies will share … more or less publicly. In any case search engines will pick up your pictures tagged by anyone and whether you like it or not, you will have a sort of an uncontrolled online existence.

I prefer to anticipate and to prevent problems by self-publishing whatever you want to share publicly (=online). Also, I would strongly recommend to create an own website, preferably on your own domain and most importantly in an environment where you keep the rights and control over your data.

Some Advantages of a self-published Profile

Self-publishing and keeping control means that you cannot count on a free ride. In fact I don’t know any place where a flexible way to publish your profile is ads free and where you are not tracked permanently to build a salable digital profile (or virtual identity).

Setting up our profile on your personal site is not a difficult task and it has the advantage, that one online profile will do the trick replacing all profiles you may have created in social and other networks.

Also you can change your profile in function of your needs and purpose and you can reflect an advantageous global picture of yourself for which you are responsible, in charge and entitled to the copy and publishing rights.

As your own profile will land on Google search, you will harvest the benefit of traffic, direct contacts and you can measure the performance of your site using tracking tools.(“Google Analytics” for example).

Also: your self-published profile has a higher credibility, since you publish it the way and in the format you like. In social networks identity theft is a risk and negative profiles which may not have been published by you can ruin your reputation.

It makes sense to publish a profile which will lead interested parties directly back to you for further information. In this respect, your profile site is a teaser, a door opener or an eye catcher.

In as much as your social (network) profile is concerned, you just need to enter a link back to your self-published profile where ever possible to let the social network send traffic to you instead of doing it the opposite way as most people would do.

Where and how to set up a Personal & Professional Profile?

If you are a Geek, you have no problem, just get a domain, some hosting and build a website. (Yeah, I can help you with that.)

For most people however, it is a drag just to think about getting involved with tech stuff. For this reason I have thought about setting up a framework for people who would like to stay in control of their data and who need an easy way to build and maintain an online profile.

Setting up your profile is not just a matter of having a website; it’s also a matter of gaining visibility. Social Networks fight hard to grab your identity and show up first on search results when you search for your name  for example on Google. Why should Facebook or Google Plus be more credible than your self-published profile?

Of course you should have fun on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; but should they be your ambassador, your agent, the holder, publisher and master of your personal data? I don’t think so. They are just good enough to send people your way, to your profile online, where you are the boss and where you control the data.

What I have in mind is a simple site consisting of 3 features: a profile page (sort of a teaser CV, a Portfolio page to show what you have been working on (for those who need it) and a contact page to allow people to reach you by mail. Of course, you can organize your content as you like and add the links to all your social networks, other websites and so on to your profile.

There shall be 3 sober styles to choose from as well.

Here below is an example for demo purposes.

Yorgo Nestoridis Profile

(Sample and demo)

The Main Page displays a public resume. remember, your whole site is publicly visible and Search Engine Optimized.

The Contact Page post directly to your mailbox and the Portfolio Page displays an archive of your items. For each item a detail page is available for project description. Three different color styles will be available, sober white and blue, orange and a dark version.

There is no blog attached to the site as the purpose is straight forward: Profile yourself easily and link to your profile where ever you go online.

Availability

The Pro Profile will be available on the YORGOO Platform later this month. I will post more details shortly.

What do you think about social profiles, self-publishing your profile and the Pro Profile Project by YORGOO?