Sunday, December 4, 2011
So you want a larger digital footprint
I have been doing a lot of research and work in trying to increase my digital foot print and get up to speed with all of the current trends. I have found that there are a lot of websites, tricks, apps, scores, and who knows what else. It can get very confusing, very quickly, and therefore I have decided to make a post on my findings so that other people can benefit from my research.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
First of all, you need to be OK with the idea that your life is going to be less private and that people are going to know what you are doing most of the time. You also need to be OK with talking to strangers. Lastly, you need to have a smartphone so that you can engage your digital social life at all times. If you agree to the above terms and have a smartphone, then we can go on to the next part.
STEP 1 - SUCCUMB
It has finally come to this: you have to succumb to the power of Facebook and Twitter. I know, I know, you have been fighting the urges and have stayed cool by not joining either, but if you want to have a digital presence you need to have joined these platforms. They will help you keep up with your friends, allow you to log in to other social media sites, and they are the biggest players in this atmosphere.
Once you have logged in, you have to input all of your information, or at least what you are willing to share. However, the more information you share, the better your digital score. Make sure you post some pictures, have a nice tag line for your account, and also get a great profile pic for all of your new friends to see. After you have a nice profile, start commenting on stuff and learn to use the systems well. It will take you about two weeks to learn the proper etiquette and the right frequency of posting.
STEP 2 - JUST GO WITH IT
By joining Facebook and twitter, you are already well on your way to having a digital life. You have proven that you can use a keyboard and mouse, are somewhat creative, and don't mind others peeping into your life. Now you have to just go with the flow. Here is a list of sites and apps that you may want to join and use so that you can expand your network and your reach:
Linkedin - Ah, the most important site that you will need if you want to expand you professional network, find a better job, and compare yourself to your peers. This is a pretty neat site for you to post your resume, your achievements, and feel good about yourself for about a week after you have finalized your profile and realize that it is a living document that needs updating at least once a month. Hmm, maybe I should update my profile with my digital footprint score this afternoon....
yelp - Admit it, we are all food critics, or think we could do a better job that the store attendant, or could keep a certain anything cleaner and better than everybody else! Well, this is your opportunity to provide feedback to restaurants, shops, companies, etc. by scoring them after you experience their service.
foursquare - hmm. go to favorite spot. check in. realize someone else goes there more than you. go more frequently. check in every time. become mayor. get special offers. someone else becomes mayor. spend all your money. become mayor again. feel special. give it a try!
Quora - This one's an interesting one. You can follow companies or topics, post questions, and people will answer. Or you can read questions and answer them. Or you can just read other people's questions and read other people's answers.
Blogger - It's OK to have a public journal and for people to read your thoughts. Heck, if you're pretty good at it, you may even make some money out of it. I refrained from explaining what this is, because if I have to explain it, then you are more lost than I thought and may have to take an intro to the interwebs.
In any case, once you start blogging, or tweeting, or checking in, you really shouldn't stop. You need to become an original content creator so that people will follow you. The more active you are, the more people will follow you and the more influence you will have. These are all really important things if you want to have a large digital footprint.
STEP 3 - GRADE THYSELF
So you think you have tried all of the sites, and are an active blogger. Well, it now comes down to the moment of truth. You should see how you compare to your friends and other in the digital space. It is time to receive a grade for all of your hard work.
There are two sites that I like, and they rank you on different things. They also let you know how you can improve your score and therefore improve your digital footprint. Go over to klout and to MyWebCareer.
STEP 4 - REFLECT
You have worked really hard, and still your score is mediocre or not as high as you would like. Well, it's a perfect time to determine whether or not you are built for this. In any case, you have to keep trying and embrace the technology. It is part of our lives and will become more powerful as time goes by. Just don't be a slacker if you choose to go down this path!
And now, a picture of my dog sitting on the couch.