My course mates and I are continuing our discussion of various social media outlets enhancing and hindering our professional presence online this week in my Readings Seminar in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems course. Two of the questions posed are how Twitter can be used to advance a professional career and what criteria are necessary when selecting additional professional social media websites. Then we have been challenged to create a professional presence on another site designed for that and explain why we chose it.
As for advancing a professional career with Twitter, it very easy to do just as with the other forms of social media. Creating an account is simple with an email address and tweaking the settings. Anyone can even create multiple accounts with Twitter because they are based on email addresses rather than actual (or made up) people. So keeping several different accounts for various reasons may keep professional and personal information separate. I believe I have made at least five Twitter accounts by now for various endeavors, but I am now down to one which is my professional presence account. Being able to connect Twitter to other forms of social media allows for cross-posting, so if I see a tweet with a great professional article and retweet it, this also posts to my linked Facebook account, this blog, and my AboutMe site. The use of hashtags can organize trains of thought and ideas which can be searched for at a later time because everything is saved. For example, I frequently search for any tweets with #edtechjobs or #edujobs in them as part of my job searching strategy and also include my blog title or other ideas I want to organize information by in my tweets. As for what criteria are necessary when selecting other forms of social media, they must contain ways to portray professional attributes such as work experience and samples of work. It must also have a way to connect with other users and include the ability to search.
I feel as if I am cheating on the next part of the assignment, because I actually searched for and found a fantastic social media site several years ago and have been cultivating my professional presence and connections on it for some time. Here is the link to my AboutMe page. When I first found this site, I was impressed at how easy it was to work with and how it seemed to create a very basic landing page – a place where all my other forms of social media could be linked in one place. All that appeared was one page on which you could include a representative photograph, a biography, and links to other social media, websites, interests, and portfolios. Over the years, AboutMe has added new features including the ability to display the user’s location and work experience. The connection aspect involves being able to search for other AboutMe pages with nearly any search criteria. The user can compliment other users, send them a message which goes to the email associated with the account, add people to collections, and see which other users have viewed them. I often describe it to others as Pinterest for people.