Monday, May 21, 2012

Consider your personal brand - Thing 3 (cpd23)

Having an uncommon name truly makes it easy to Google yourself. Just for grins, I also searched my name in Bing.

I had expected that my YA book recommendations blog BooksYALove would be at the top of both searches since I've published over 200 posts there in the past year, but was surprised to see the IASL Meeting Place (official communications channel of International Association of School Librarianship) as #1 on Google & #2 on Bing, even though I'm not that busy on it.

Odder yet, Bing had my Linked-In profile as first search result, and I really connect with that rather infrequently (it was sixth result on Google) - perhaps Bing automatically gives Google-based sites less impact or Google artificially raises them (Blogger, Picasa, Gmail) in their search algorithms.

Bing asked me if I wanted to see more results of my name search by also logging in with my Facebook - umm, no thanks. While I do try to keep my FB self and comments to other FB users in the "safe for work" realm of language and content, that Katy is purposefully not linked directly and continually to the Katy who blogs & Tweets as BooksYALove, participates in library associations, etc.

I did notice that my comments on other blogs did appear in both sets of search results - as long as I used my full name (often automatically by using my Gravatar or other profile). Usually, I just comment as Katy M with my blog name & Twitter handle as part of signature line, so most of my comments to other bloggers don't show up in this specific name search. I'm very intentional about including my library-related & BooksYALove info in my signature line when replying to professional-type emails, too.

As to personal branding, I've recently revamped my BooksYALove blog (thanks to my creative daughter) with new logo and new background in its established color scheme, used the same logo & background on my Twitter page, and will have Emily-designed business cards to match printed up as soon as I use more of the inexpensive ones that I had made just before we embarked on the site refresh project. All this is in preparation for moving BooksYALove to its own domain, rather than being directly Blogger-hosted, so I wanted an original background instead of the Blogger-provided theme (copyright and all that).

So the IASL Katy is one "me" and the BooksYALove Katy is another (both professional and library-related),  the me on Facebook is personal, and my Twitter handle as BooksYALove is a bit of a mix of both.  Still, all are "safe for your grandmother to see" as a wise mentor once counseled as the best way to communicate online.

Thing 2 (cpd23) - a-visiting we'll go

It's almost too bad that Thing 2-Visit other cpd23 blogs - is the second Thing to do in this course, since many newcomers to the program are just getting their blogs started or have set up their blog but have no content yet. Some of us repeat cpd'ers do have posts available for reading, but they're usually last year's reflections and discoveries (as far into the course as we got).

But if we waited until midway through cpd23 to visit other blogs, then we'd miss seeing some great ideas on how to configure our own blogs, finding out who else is in our area of specialty or geographic region (or isn't), and so on.

So I've subscribed to some current cpd23 participants' blogs - by RSS or by email, depending on the options offered - and will have their new posts arrive automatically in my reader/mailbox. As I do with most blogs that I follow, I'll read most posts as information which requires no comment on my part, but will definitely try to respond to cpd23 posts in a meaningful way. (who wants to read "me, too!" as a comment??)

Onward through the 23Things!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CPD23 Thing #1, once again

Although I'm not currently working in a library job or library building, I do consider myself a "librarian-at-large" as I am consulted by friends and family for research assistance and just cannot help sending on great links and sites to folks who'll appreciate them. My young adult book recommendation blog - - is my biggest outreach, as I search for the great books from debut authors and smaller publishing houses, the books that aren't plastered all over the bestsellers lists.

With BooksYALove, I've done several blog challenges and am currently halfway through the WordCount Blogathon as I marked my book blog's first birthday on May 1, 2012 and will soon have 200 YA book recommendations (no spoilers!) in total.

I did Library 23 Things in 2008 and its follow-up Library 11.5 Things in 2009  (see my earlier posts on those topics using labels), so it's time to polish up on my technology skills again. I tried CPD23 last year, but real life got in my way, and I couldn't catch up. And perhaps with the more-relaxed pace of the 2012 version of CPD23, I'll get it all done this year!