Sunday, July 19, 2009

 

Personal Branding and ePortfolios

An interesting article was posted this week to the PBS Media Shift blog with the title, "Personal Branding Becomes a Necessity in Digital Age." As I read this post, I found many references to processes that sounded like ePortfolios, at least for the purpose of employability.

[Scott] Karp says he built his brand at Publishing 2.0, using it as a soapbox of ideas and a forum to discuss them through comments.

"My blog became resume, business card, references, network all in one," Karp told me. "I would go to conferences, meet people, and find they already 'knew' me through my blog -- an odd but useful form of micro-celebrity."
I've had that same experience with my blog, meeting people who only knew me from this blog, but carrying on a conversation that seemed like they were "inside my head." This quote ties personal branding directly to an ePortfolio for employability:
"When you're considering switching jobs, even a personal website with a small portfolio of sample work can be invaluable," [Matt] Cutts [of Google] said. "People will search for you online, so it's important to take part in that conversation, and having your own website can be a great way to put your best foot forward."

"Grab a domain name and work on burnishing your personal reputation online. It's definitely not the case that everyone needs a blog, but having one place that acts as a face to the world can really help. There's room for a resume/CV, but also for some writing samples that show off your abilities." -- Matt Cutts, Google (from his Letter to a young journalist post)

Isn't that a portfolio? I also love this quote:

...And in this era, you need to be very careful, as search engines can log all sorts of things. Remember: Whatever happens in Vegas...stays on Google." -- Scott Monty, Ford Motor Co.

Even more illuminating are the comments that appeared from other readers of the article:
I find the whole idea of personal branding both a necessity and an opportunity to find ones true voice.

Remember MONEY magazine said in there 12/07 issue - "You're only as good as Google says you are"

Personal branding, to my opinion, is a tool to tell people who you are and what is your unique contribution to the business. It validates and manifests the inner knowledge of your being and empowers you to act freely to your full potential.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

 

Digital Identity and EIFEL's new direction

EIFEL is moving from a focus on interoperability of ePortfolio data (document export/import, data structures) to a more flexible approach of an ePortfolio interoperability framework "where individuals are free to choose the components of their own ePortfolio system while being capable of interacting with a number of different institutions across time (diachronic interoperability) and space (synchronic interoperability)."

In response to that posting, there was some interesting discussion on the ePortfolios-and-PLTs Google Group (mostly in the U.K.) about the development of Digital Identity. I was especially impressed by some lessons on Digital Identity, "This is Me" that were developed by the University of Reading in the U.K. and can be downloaded for free. My favority response to the issue of "digital identity" was posted by Roger Neilson, where he insightfully compared it to a teenager's bedroom:
There is probably a spectrum here, at one end is the protocol driven 'me' page that an organisation will seek to control, in the interests of child safety, personal data protection etc - and at the other end the 'vanity' page where everything is permitted and the entries are a mish mash of design, font, layout, with a lot of random (to us) material. some of which will be decidely not a good idea for data protection etc.

The problem is that any web presence that is purely prescribed by a bureaucracy will have no soul or personal 'declaration' and therefore especially for the teenage user, no interest whatsoever.

When we establish our own 'digital presence' we make choices as to what we put in the 'footprint' - there are probably some absolutes that need to be there, there will be some stuff that is very inadvisable to include - and there will be a lot of 'clutter' that for us will be very meaningful, but actually a waste of time for a reader.

A very necessary part of learning is to understand that we all have this digital footprint and that we need to manage it... so there has to be both guidance, and freedom to 'decorate it as they desire.

It's their teenage bedroom, we own the house and we can say there are key things that need to be in there, but we can only stand back and watch as they decorate it in a manner that they find wonderful, and we may find hideous.
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