Posts Tagged ‘Web Presence’

Public Perception

February 23rd, 2010

Scribd Business Model

Today I had an interesting experience in user perception. While following a link to a presentation I was interested, in I arrived at the Scribd site and was greeted with the view shown above. Although the screen capture might not do the blinking neon banner at the bottom justice, I hope that those reading this will share similar sentiments to those I experienced. The content is surrounded by gimmicky advertising that screams desperation to me. If you’ve built a business dependent on advertising muscle enhancers and the chance to win WalMart gift cards then I begin to seriously doubt your future prospects. Maybe I’m being to quick to judge Scribd. After all, I’ve always considered them a reputable company. Its amazing what today’s visit did to my perception. My biggest take away from this experience is the importance of being aware how you’re projecting yourself to your customers. Take a second to view your public presence through your customer’s eyes and make sure there aren’t any metaphorical flashing neon banner ads.

Confessions of a Social Media Introvert

September 1st, 2009

Hi my name is…I am a social media introvert. My online status on any instant messenger, chat, or Facebook-type account is blank. Yet I actively visit and check such forms of communication to see what is going on in other people’s lives and who happens to be up at that time of night. I rarely send out friend requests though I readily accept most of them. I have a pseudo-email account so I can sign up for things without having to worry about it ever being traced back to me or being bothered by further spam. I even have created aliases for my alias so that I can truly enjoy the anonymity that the internet seems to offer and be as curious as I want. Even then I’m still reluctant to post or comment.

I live in fear of leaving a cyber identity that is less than perfect. It is the same struggle I’ve always had with keeping a journal or diary, worrying about what my kids or grandkids might think. After all the Internet is forever, right? When I Google myself (come on I know you’ve done it too.) I’ve wondered what a future employer might surmise from my online activities or how that information would affect future relationships.

Overall I guess I’ve not been comfortable with who I really am or at least letting the world see that too. It’s not as if in the real world I don’t talk to people. I’m not paranoid, like the person who never walks to work the same way because he is worried he’ll be easily assassinated by ninjas. Online image is very real. There is a whole market of online image consultants out there. Granted they usually are using the medium as a way to tell people how to dress in real life as opposed to managing your web footprint. Though that makes me wonder if SEO’s could spin off into a new branch of business ensuring that only the best personal images surfaces to the first few pages of Google. Celebrities would probably pay a pretty penny if the don’t already. PR meets Programming, any takers?

For all those fellow INFWhatevers (What does Myers-Briggs really do for you anyway?), there is hope. I would urge all you fellow introverts to try some baby steps into the world of social media. Find a friend who already knows you and tweet with them. It is alright if you want to use one of your many aliases. Just do it for a month. You don’t have to worry that you won’t write the perfect monologue-think bumper stickers and famous quotes. The text limitation is actually freeing! That is right. Twitter is actually therapeutic. Hmmm…Therapy on Twitter—that is an interesting idea.  

I won’t explore that now however. Once you get comfortable expressing your witty retorts start your own blog. Make it private if you’re uncomfortable—Baby steps. If you haven’t already create a Facebook account and do something simple like wish a friend a happy birthday or congratulations on a new child. A whole new world now awaits! Even introverts can have friends just as long they aren’t ninjas and don’t ask which way you usually walk home.

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