In this weekly series on online community building, I’ve been talking about how to appear online as the distinct entity you are using unique content, whether you’re representing yourself as an individual or as an employee of a company, or as a business.
Today I want to focus for a moment where all that content might be going.
How easy is it for you to update your profiles across the web?
When you update your avatar (I’d recommend once a year), how do you quickly skip through all the services and networks and community boards and groups and platforms and other online spaces you’ve got a toe-hold? When’s the last time you rounded up all the places you’ve opened an account or somehow appear?
For most people the answer is: never. That’s a lost opportunity.
Here’s a question for you: if you don’t know where you are online, how is anyone else supposed to find you? Some of us want to connect with you in multiple places, as I mentioned here. But if your various profiles show different avatars and old bios, you make it hard for us to recognize you as the same person. We also can’t always tell which is the latest information.
I recently saw a discussion on Twitter about a reporter double-checking with New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal her current work details. The author wondered why, since her current details are available online. Other journalists responded that it’s sometimes hard to ascertain the facts from material we ourselves post about ourselves.
As Lora Kolodny, a Silicon Valley reporter for the Wall Street Journal points out, our online media is so fragmented these days it’s easy to be inconsistent.
But as a solopreneur who’s been pioneering the digital life for the past five years and building global community, I think it’s just as easy for us to connect those digital CVs and profiles and guest posts.
In fact, with our digital capabilities, it’s easier than ever to link the work we’ve done here and there to where we’re most active today.
Bottom line: You need to learn G+.
You don’t need to conquer the network or make a huge commitment to spend time there — yet. But as Donna Papacosta says about her recent GooglePlus interview with marketing expert B.L. Ochman, you need to use G+ because it’s Google. It’s not just another network. It’s the place the world’s most powerful search engine wants to look first.
SEO yourself, at G+! Add your links, other profiles, sites you’re a contributor to.
When it’s time to update your avatar, your bio, your tagline, or whenever you’ve got fresh content to share, use your G+ about page as a “cheat sheet.”
By hot linking all the places you need to update you’ll make your task so much easier. Plus since your G+ profile is prioritized by the Google search engine, when someone searches for you, they’ll also find all the other places you exist online too.
This is a convenience for both the searcher and for you.
Edit those links. If you’ve guest posted on a blog or published work somewhere, keep those links, they have value. They lead to your contributions on other properties. Consider closing accounts at services and networks you no longer care for and don’t intend to return to.
How do you see your GooglePlus profile helping you in online community building? Let me know in the comments below.
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