I am hoping to explore authenticity and branding in a digital space.
- How do you find a voice? Or does it find you?
- What is the right medium to express yourself?
- What do you want to say?
Image via (Duarte, 2010)
Since every journey has a beginning, here’s my context: (Maybe you’ll even find me likeable or at least relatable?)
I am a semi-pro lurker (or Sampling in the lingo of the cool cats in Knowledge Management). I am on websites like Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and more WordPress blogs than I can name. On each of these sites, I follow groups and individuals to learn about different topics, to keep up with current events, and to generally be entertained. However, I have never considered posting in them or connecting them with fairly tame personal existence on Facebook or LinkedIn.
To me, what I’m interested in is private. What will people think if they know I’m into anime, that I love the-Toast, and that I’ve got some fairly progressive political views? Does anyone ever really want it all out there?
Now, on to the catalyst for change:
I wish I could say that a deep intrinsic need forced me to dive into the public space, but we’re going to keep it real here. I enrolled in the Master’s of Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern (MSLOC), and as a part of my course work I am required to build a blog “as an act of finding a thoughtful, professional voice.” [You’ll see a lot of msloc430 tagging on these posts.]
So, it brings me back to the question:
What do I want to be when I grow up digitally?
In an article about lurking in online communities Na Sun et. al discusses the reasons that someone would lurk rather than participate in online communications. There’s even a nifty graphic!
This series of blogs will be most concerned about the bottom-highlighted quadrant. What can you do as an individual to create an authentic version of your online self? How can you create the same cohesion and sense of self across multiple digital platforms and media types? How you achieve your goals and build a sense of self-efficacy in an online space?
You need a good road map to see where you’re going so here is mine:
In each blog, I am going to attempt to discuss the idea of authenticity and digital presence. I will do this via different forms of media, text (in this post), audio (in my next post), and finally a VLOG in my final post in this series. I plan to draw on the readings from both the course itself and the things I peruse online. I also plan to cross-link all versions of my presence so that I can begin to create a more authentic self in a digital space.
See you in the town square of the Internet! Who knows, maybe I will come out this experience transformed.
Duarte, N. (2010). Resonate: Present visual stories that transform audiences. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sun, N., Rau, P. P.-L., & Ma, L. (2014). Understanding lurkers in online communities: A literature review. Computers in Human Behavior, 38, 110–117.