I am lucky enough to have a fairly unusual first name second name combination. There are no movie stars cluttering up mentions of my name online (Brenda Fricker used to be good for telephone spelling requests but her departure from Casualty has resulted in a notable reduction in the population wide knowledge of how to spell Fricker). The first ten hits on Google are mostly related to me with my LinkedIn, Twitter, and Biog from HLG conference included. The notable false drop is the other main Alan Fricker on the web. An environmentalist in New Zealand his death was the first thing a Google Alert I set up ever told me about my name (the perils of vanity test searches). The other major false drop is from Facebook. This Blog shows up on the second page of results (as does Movember from last year). Not much of a surprise to me are a few Jiscmail mentions as I have long been active on these. I would suggest this is actually part of my personal brand – active.
Generally I have been happy to put my own name to my activity online (also shortened versions as my name is distinct enough for people in my sector to recognise me). My main blogging outlet being a group blog is an issue for personal brand. Indeed the lack of a clear personal brand was one of the issues picked up when myself and Hanna Lewin spoke at HLG Conference in Salford about the group blog experience. It is notable also that people really struggle with the blog name (and that the “what’s an informaticist” page gets lots of hits!). I did have an experimental blog for some KM learning which could be revived. A long with my own name I have been happy enough to use my own picture (mucked about with of late as result of trying out an online tool). I can understand why some might shy away from using their picture though.
I think the professional is personal and my communication online reflects this. I think about what I do / professional issues a fair bit and this comes out. Twitter encourages the blurring of the line but I share considerably less there than I might with colleagues in the office. I also like to show off pictures of pies.
I think my online brand is fairly consistent with offline which is a good thing to my way of thinking. I probably should have a personal blog rather than the confusion of this group blog but I like it here.