I’ve been putting together some basic social media workshops to get my returning students back in to the swing of things. One of the areas I looked at was using social media (and social networks) as a base from which to promote themselves and their content.
Most of the stuff around this tends to settle on the old favorites – Twitter and Facebook. Recent banter also pulls in Reddit (Don’t know why. Anybody would think the President of the United states used it or something). But it was whilst pondering the idea of personal and professional identity that I found myself thinking of Wikipedia.
Making a distinction between your personal and professional life online is key as a journalist. Platforms like Facebook make that easy – you can have more than one profile. You can also create a little public place for your ‘journo identity’ in the shape of a Facebook page. A great way to gather and promote content under your chosen ‘brand’.
You can also set up a page on Google+. Now I know that there isn’t very much love for Google+ but hey, if there is a chance to get some of your information in to the biggest search engine in the world, why not!
Connect them all together with something whizzy like if this then that and you have a veritable multichannel-brandgasm of content.
Of course the grandaddy of all sites with pages about people and things is Wikipedia. So it occurred to me that a page about ‘journo you’ on Wikipedia might be an interesting thing to have.
The general feeling (when I did a quick twitter-pop) was ‘don’t do it’
But the whole T&C’s thing was a a bit grey.
And not everyone thought it was a problem.
But there was also some good advice for career progression.
So in general the advice was to avoid it:
- It’s against the terms and conditions (as well as the spirit) of Wikipedia
- It’s a bit sad
I can say from a quick tootle round Wikipedia it hasn’t stopped some from trying (the history tab in Wikipedia is great)
Know who you are
I’d be interested in what people think about the whole wikipedia thing. But in general the exercise has just underlined a few things for me:
- If you don’t know who you are why should your audience – having a clear idea in your head of the kind of content/journalist you want people to see online is key.
- Be consistent – people will find you in the oddest places so make sure you as consistent a message across as much as you can control
- Control is not the same as hiding stuff - The ability to control your profiles is not a reason to make stuff up or hide things just as transparency is not a requirement to lay your whole life bare.