You know you’re smart – but does the Internet? When a potential client or employer starts clicking around “digital you,” the pieces of the puzzle should be more robust than a one-sheet resume and a bunch of chatter about your social life. True, we can’t share everything we do at work, but there are smart ways to broadcast the ideas and activities that you spend the majority of your waking hours – your work day – busting your ass on. The online tools outlined here will help you paint a more complete picture of yourself. After all, it’s okay to show off when it’s deserved.
Your clients and bosses get to see the version of you equipped with slides and laser pointer – why not your Internet audience? Slideshare allows you to upload and share PowerPoint and Keynote presentations, Word and PDF docs, and professional videos. Great for sharing professional content, SlideShares can become just as viral as the popular articles and videos that get passed around the web. “Startup Lessons Learned,” a slide set posted by Dropbox founder Drew Houston, reached 90,000 views within just weeks.
Flavors.me is a fantastic option for a personal website if you cannot build your own. Most web behavior involves a heavy amount of posting to a handful of your favorite haunts – maybe to Twitter, your blog, and YouTube, for example. To tell the most complete story of you, these pieces should exist in one place. Flavors.me does just that, creating a personal, customizable site, pulling in your content and updates from 20+ social media sites.
As an Internet lover with no web design or coding ability, I’m the perfect candidate for a Flavors.me account. Without shelling out any money, I now have an elegant personal website, which is a real-time, one-stop shop of all my profiles. If you’re strategic about which information Flavors pulls in, you can shape your image by choosing content that will highlight your strong points (thoughtful blog posts), and let something less professional (your Etsy purchases) fall off the list.
This application allows companies and individuals to host question and answer sessions, allowing anyone to participate in the virtual conversation. These volleys can happen exclusively on your Formspring profile, though most often, the “ask me anything” link is spread around the web, allowing your different audiences to ask questions (which arrive straight to your inbox). Then, you can choose what you want to answer publicly.
Behance’s own Scott Belsky invites his audience to his Formspring “digital office hours” each Tuesday to answer questions – everything from “What is the future of Action Method Online” to “What is your favorite book?” These “office hours” are a great way to invite new questions, and engage with your audience in a more personal way.
Delicious offers an excellent platform for saving and sharing weblinks. In researching a project (or just browsing Google Reader), we always need to catalog the best sites and articles for reference later. Delicious offers much more than a simple “read later” save; you’re encouraged to add notes (up to 1,000 characters), tags, and project names as well. Anything top-secret can be marked as “private,” so your workflow won’t be interrupted by cataloguing confidential links elsewhere.
By broadcasting the rundown of what you’ve been doing that day via your Delicious RSS feed, you’ll give your audience a peek into your thought process and navigation style, while sharing your favorite blogs and links.
Twitter is one arena that can quickly devolve into a purely personal forum. Since we’re alerted when someone contacts us (via an @ message), it’s easy to pay attention only to these comments. But if you really want to stand out, it’s a good idea to step it up and actually initiate conversation, chiming in on your area of expertise.
Whatever it is you’re working on or mulling over, do a simple search and see what the conversation is like. Choose some key tweets that get your creative juices churning, and try responding and enticing these folks into a public back-and-forth. Doing this will pepper your Twitter account with rich content and show off your intellectually curious side. And it’s a great way to network and gather a like-minded, savvy audience along the way.
Last but not least, we wouldn’t want to forget mention of our own Behance.net – the leading platform for creative professionals. We recently redesigned and relaunched Behance with a host of great new features, including new and improved portfolio tools, and one-touch promotion of new projects to Facebook, Twitter, and more.