As I point out in my Amazon.com bestseller,Straight Talk for Success, successful people create positive personal impact. If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to do three things: 1) build and nurture your unique personal brand; 2) be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line; and 3) know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.
Sunday’s Denver Post had a very interesting column on managing your on line presence by Michael Koenigs, a senior at Harvard. In part, Michael said…
“We publicize our own lives. Students post candid party pictures on Facebook, videos on YouTube, and diaries on Blogspot for all to see. We document our everyday lives in unprecedented ways. But in addition to our own efforts, companies like Google and Yahoo monitor our online behavior, share our personal emails with third parties, and save our videos and chats…Much of what is posted on the web is beyond our control.
“Future politicians will be haunted not by whether they inhaled in college, but by whether their former friends posted pictures of their prodigal behavior. Peers with cellphone cameras have replaced the paparazzi. Partygoers playfully shout ‘blackmail photo’ seconds after snapping photos of students making out or drinking from a keg.
“By blurring the boundary between public and private lives, social networking sites have become intertwined with our most personal interactions. But the ease and efficiency with which these sites allow people to communicate and share photos ensures that they will continue to play a significant role in our culture. Their mark on politics, education and personal interaction has only just begun.”
Michael makes some great points. I used to think of being impeccable in your presentation of self as dressing well and looking good. But as Michael points out, you need to pay attention to not only how you dress, but what you post on line and what other people post about you as well.
Anita Shreve’s latest book, Testimony, is a novel that depicts how several lives disintegrated as a result of an unfortunate combination of too much alcohol, poor judgment and a camcorder at an eastern boarding school.
This doesn’t mean you should have no fun, but it does mean you need to pay close attention to your behavior at all times. In some ways that’s too bad. I know that I wouldn’t want to have many of my college, or young adult, exploits posted on the web.
Regardless of what you might think, employers do Google prospective employees. Today, your on line image cannot be separated from your in person image.
Many people have a variety of on line accounts. I’m an old guy and I have accounts at LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Plaxo, Yahoo 360, Success Television, Jason’s Network and Duct Tape Marketing Workbench. I write this blog. I Twitter.
Being in so many places on line, I find that I have difficulty managing my online presence. Recently, I discovered www.extendr.com, a very cool site that can help you with this. Joseph Rueter is the extendr.com founder. Here’s what he has to say about extendr and why he created it…
“Extendr started because I wanted a simple page to collect links to my stuff online so I could make easy and simple introductions of my online stuff to people with it. I didn't want the page to change but I wanted to be able to edit the page. In this way I could print the one location on cards and in my email signatures and on my social profiles. So I built a crude site under an odd name and stuck it out there.
“When friends started asking for their own pages I contacted a college friend to see if he'd be interested in applying his ninja developer skills to the service. Neil agreed and .extendr.com was born.
“Simply, extendr.com offers and easy way to put your links in one place. Hence our tag line – ‘Your links. One place.™’ We have all kinds of ideas about how to use the site and why it is a great idea but frankly the community is a better judge of value and we're getting very positive response.”
The common sense principle here is simple. Successful people create positive personal impact. In order to create positive personal impact, you have to present yourself well — in person and on line. As Michael Koenigs points out, it’s important to pay attention to what you post on line. Have fun, but don’t share your more outrageous exploits with the world. Think carefully about what you post on line. Also, a site like www.extendr.com can help you organize your on line presence. Check it out and create an extendr profile. It’s an easy way to share what you want about yourself on line and to manage your on line presence.
That’s my take on the opportunities and threats in todays on line world when it comes to creating positive personal impact. What do you think? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading. I really appreciate you.