who are you online? who do you want to be? how do you want others to perceive you? i spoke at my alma mater on tuesday afternoon about my personal journey to an online career and about the theory behind making a name for yourself online.
if you search around the “social media guru” blogs, you’ll find plenty of 7 ways to this and 5 tips for that. but not nearly as much in the way of theory. and this was college, right? so i wanted to really consider the deeper workings of social media. why it works – how it works – and how we communicate the essence of our selves & personalities to a network of thousands of strangers. in short, how we form our online identity.
since my mission at scoutie girl is more about telling the stories behind the stuff, i think this information fits here. this is the story & the theory behind what i put into scoutie girl:
the art & business of crafting your online self
how do you communicate the “essence of you” to people who’ve never met you before? if you create a persona that you will ultimately tire of or that you cannot maintain, you’ll lose interest and so will others. you life “wired” must be a true representation of the person you are and hope to become.
for me, i lost touch of my “true self” while i was working for “the man.” i lost touch with my love of learning, the part of me that loved to read & write. i rediscovered that when i took time off when lola was born. that’s the identity i choose to share online. a positive, successful, optimistic, and driven self.
i hope that’s the person you know.
you are what you share
you online identity becomes the sum total of the information you share online. for me, it’s sharing beautiful handmade goods, connecting artists, finding helpful blogging resources, & recapping special events. i immerse myself in this online community so that i can have access to the best information to pass on to you as readers & followers.
once i started to share, my value & influence grew by sharing the most interesting & helpful information i could find. that cultivates authority. as authority grows, my network – and my online identity – grows because of the value you provide to the community.
greater authority + larger network = more people exposed to the information i share
the sum of the tidbits – information, art, people, beauty – that i share creates an image of the virtual me. the “person” that you know.
the space between those shared bits, the juxtapositions, and the connections complete that virtual image. you probably don’t know me as a “person” – you know me as the words i write, the information i share, and the people i introduce you to. i am all those things, put together, and examined.
but i am nothing without relationships
if its not for you, the people who i work hard to cultivate relationships with, i am nothing. scoutie girl is nothing. my online self may be built by the information i share – but it’s propelled by our relationship.
i don’t know exactly where my own journey is headed, what new challenges & opportunities await me. in the end, my success – my ability to maintain this life that i love, hinges upon my ability to maintain my “wired” self image and my relationship with you.
if you enjoyed this post, please check out my personal blog at taragentile.com. you can find more of my musings on social media, blogging, and the more “theoretical” side of indie biz.