Monday, 31 October 2011

Thing 3 - Considering my personal branding

Hello! Thanks for checking back on my progress!

This was a really interesting activity. It's not often that I consider my personal, visual and web profile / image. I am always keen to provide work of high professional standard that is also well presented. But, I'm just not that interested with how I look, or indeed what others might think of me because of my appearance. (I usually revel in the "uniform" of shirt and tie - the pathway of least resistance.) So this was a challenging exercise for me!

What happened.... 

I used Yahoo to check out for any mentions of me. Well, of course, I was staggered at how many "Stephen Gregorys" there are. I shouldn't have been because I have a name-sake in the my own organisation, but aside from Steve in Health, there is also:

  • an author of several horror books
  • an actor, from New York and he's been in 8 films
  • there's even another librarian - at the Union Theological College, Belfast!!
  • and many more.
The single mention of the "real me" within the first few pages of results notes my current involvement with the Career Development Group Wales Division. So nothing too terrible then. Phew.

I had also had reservations about the URL for my blog from the moment that I'd created it. I should have put more thought and  care into this important aspect. But, by the same token I was reasonably pleased with the appearance of my blog. I had carefully selected a theme which mirrored internal branding within the Welsh Government. As a small group of colleagues are working on CPD23 Things I thought that this was a nice touch of  "corporateness". I also liked the layout for my blog, although note that the display varies between Internet browsers, and in IE6 is just horrid. (Please use IE8, Chrome or another browser if you are following me!)

So what? 

With such a seemingly common name, if I am going to be clearly differentiated and identifiable on the web then I need to be clear about my profile description.  I've added my photograph so that people who know me will recognise me, and I've added more information to the "About Me" section of my blog profile. This will enable people to gain a reasonable understanding of what I do. I have also changed my blog URL to something more apt / memorable I haven't made my blog truly public yet, but perhaps I will after a few weeks. I also toyed with the idea of adding a logo .... but I couldn't quite master that.

What next? Thing 4 of course! ;-) but I will also look at some of the suggested reading for Task 3 in my own time. I'll blog if there are any action to take from this reading. I will also take closer note on how people have branded themselves on the web in future too. I'll be keen to "creatively swipe" their good ideas.

I've used a framework for my reflection here: what happened; so what? and what next? This should help structure my reflections and make them more purposeful and useful. Any thoughts on this?

So that's me signing off for now. I will welcome your comments and I'm keen to see how my colleague bloggers have fared with their investigations.

Later follow-up. (3 November 2011) The suggested reading for Thing 3 is really helpful, especially the blog by cpdbygeorge who usefully suggests really thinking hard about your blog name and url and checking this thoroughly for uniqueness. Fortunately I seem to have struck reasonably lucky with stepheninlibraryland, and this might also be good to rebrand in Twitter too. LibWig provides some great tips on changing Twitter name if I decide to go ahead with this. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Checking out other peoples' blogs

cpd23 Task 2. Checking other peoples' blog

So I've looked at:

I wasn't brave enough to comment. Perhaps next time.

What I hope to achieve in undertaking CPD23 - CPD23 Task 1

I've worked in government librarianship for 5-years and during that time I've been prevented from using  Web 2.0 applications in work. I've worked in librarianship for much longer, and so my qualifications and knowledge might be a little dated!  I therefore hope that CPD23 will:

  • provide me with a framework to explore some of these tools;
  • to identify applications that may be suitable to use for work and professional development, but perhaps also tools that will be useful for social means;
  • to see examples of such tools in use;
  • to update my skills and confidence in using new IT tools;
  • a number of us are undertaking CDP23 in work and I hope to support my colleagues, but also gain through our collaborative learning;
  • to see this as an example of online / distance / self-paced learning. To idenitify the challenges and difficulties that arise with this type of learning, but also to understand the potential benefits.
So there we are. My first blog, and I've outlined my hopes in undertaking CDP23. These seem to be reasonably achieveable. Wish me luck .... here goes!