Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Keep Your Online Profile

Keeping up a consistent image across the web and keeping your content fresh is vital to good business and strong relationships. We've talked about some Web 2.0 aspects already, but your online profile is a key part of your personal and business web 2.0 brand. Profiles must be kept fresh. With a little upfront effort, the task of maintaining multiple profiles can be less tedious, freeing up time to better connect with other people. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa and YouTube are just the start of it - for people active on social websites, you could have several dozen social media profiles.

Keep an Inventory

The first step is to exactly know where you have a social media profile and where you do not. Start by checking with Check User Names, which will search dozens of popular social media websites to see if your username is active. Check any you normally use. If any don’t ring any bells, see if it’s yours or if somebody already owns it.

Preserve (Reserve) Your Identity

Mashable Tip: Always keep note of other people using your most common username. Making sure people don’t confuse you for somebody else is important for friends, potential employers and particularly if your business is on the web.

Therefore it's important to sign up for the most popular social networks regardless of whether you are going to use them all. This prevents someone else taking your online presence, being mistaken for you and it protects an account that you may want to use later.

This doesn’t mean you should be active on all of these services. Take a long, hard look at all of the services available and your time constraints and choose the ones that pique your interest the most. Keep some focus when choosing platforms. For the rest, place a note on your profile with contact information and links to your favorite social profiles.

Organise, Centralise and Synchronise

Keep track of your email accounts and other feeds. The best tool for me has been netvibes.

One tab has all my email accounts on one page, plus twitter feed and facebook feed. Another tab has various modules plus direct links to all my sites, my client sites and any admin areas. Netvibes starts every time firefox does.

Do not become a Robot, but keep similar tasks together. For example a common action on social media is sending an update that you have updated your blog. Normally, you would have to copy and paste this type of message into Twitter, Facebook, and so on. With services such as and Twitterfeed, this can be done without any work on your end. Find tools that can help you spread you reach without eating up your time.

Atomkeep is a cool tool for updating all of your social media profiles at once - it connects to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other accounts and allows you to change bios and profile pictures with one action.

I also use PeopleBrowsr to create a more dynamic dashboard for special events and handling the group concept. It combines multiple sources of information in one place. PeopleBrowsr is an online visual dashboard that combines your Web profiles and connections. For an event like SXSW it has created a centralized dashboard for SXSW and all conversations, parties, and events related to the big festival.

If you’re unfamiliar with PeopleBrowsr, the site functions similar to TweetDeck providing users with a column view of status updates and custom created groups, but it also combines your friends and updates across a myriad of other social sites like Flickr, Facebook, FriendFeed and LinkedIn for an all-in-one Web-based view of your social world.

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