Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Creating an Online Presence

This is the first in a series of articles on creating an online presence.  Let's start by pondering what an online presence is, how we might go about creating one, and what main concepts we should consider.


This is more than just an account on a social media site.  It's a place where people can go to learn more about you, read your thoughts/opinions, and easily access your various social media streams.  The term for this is an online presence. Call it what you want, it's basically a place on the web about you (and usually the content you generate).

Some people would consider your collection of public-facing content to qualify, and they are correct.  However, in this series of posts I am going to delve into a more specific, formal and focused online presence.


There are plenty of reasons to create an online presence beyond your social media accounts.  An online presence provides a central hub for your various, otherwise-unrelated feeds, streams, whatever.  This immediately creates a more coherent picture of you, especially if you are tailoring your content to different social media streams.  This also has the benefit of exposing the people following one stream to your other streams, e.g., your LinkedIn contacts more easily find/see your Twitter feed, achieving crossover/cross-pollination between your various audiences.

If you are a "tech person", whether by profession or passion, managing your online becomes something of a necessity.  Professionally, this becomes part of your personal brand.


Okay, but how should we go about that?  First, we need to answer some questions.

What Are Your Goals?

You should decide what your goal is first.  There are some key pieces of content you might consider:
  • Links to your various social presences (Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
  • Some way to contact you
  • The ability to blog (or microblog)

What Resources *Will* You Bring to Bear?

Notice that I did not say "can".  Anyone *can* become a master developer and create a site to rival this very blog technology you are using right now.  But most people won't; they don't have the time or the desire.  Be honest with yourself and decide where you lie on this spectrum.
  • Just flip it on, give them a name, pick a default template and move on
  • Dig into advanced settings, maybe learn a little bit of coding
  • Know enough CSS and HTML to create a passable web page already
  • Created a site to rival this blog technology, but became bored with it

Some Common Options

Now you should have a sense of what you are trying to achieve and how much you want to invest.  But what are your options?  Well, there are a few obvious and commonly-used ones.
  • Just firing up a "ready made" blog
  • Configuring a "ready made" blog with static pages
  • Creating a web site from "ready made" web site tools/services
  • Creating a web site and installing WordPress or some similar blogging tool
  • Creating a web site from scratch
The next few posts will discuss these options in more detail going in the order above, simple/easy to complex/difficult.

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