Thing 3 is all about 'maintaining a consistent image' and 'portraying an accurate reflection of who you are'. You are prompted to 'consider your core values and how you can convey those messages to those who meet you in person and those who find you online'. Things to consider include the following:
- Name - Is it a nickname? Is it consistent across various platforms? If it's not your real name, try using something easy to pronounce.
- Photograph - Do you want to be recognized when you meet face to face? Probably. Consider using a recent photo of yourself instead of a cartoon or other image.
- Professional/personal identity - Do you want to merge the two or will you keep them separate?
- Visual brand - do you have a clear visual identity? This could be the colours you use, a style of imagery, or anything that makes you stand out/be unique. It should also be consistent across platforms.
My answers bleed into each other, so have a big block of text:
I don't like attaching my real name to things online, where it can be around forever and ever. This is perhaps a product of being on the internet since I was fourteen. Never give personal info! Ever! Sometimes I toy with the idea of using my real name, but I can always go public later. And if you really really want to find me, you probably could. In which case you might be a stalker, which is not good. But at least I made you work for it!
Miss Scarlet was my favourite character in Clue. I always thought she was pretty and mysterious (let's face it, she's kind of a babe). Red is one of my favourite colours. Red is bold and memorable. I decided to start wearing red to any function with library folks I'd want to network with - a red cardigan or a bright red necklace. I thought that people might associate me with the colour; that girl in red seems familiar... That sort of idea. (I haven't worn red for the last clutch of library-related outings, for which I am sad. This means I am constantly peering into store windows looking for red things. Red things on sale, to be specific.) I wanted red to be a visual brand. The latest copy of my resume has a red sidebar. I changed my old blog's colour scheme to red and white, and from there stepped to transitioning between the old blog (Lagomorph Watson) and this new one, also red. I don't really expect anyone to pick up on the clothing choices, but I'm hoping it's working on a subconscious level. Is that silly?
As for images, I don't have a personal one at the moment. I'm sticking with the Clue theme for now, with a scan of Miss Scarlet's character card for my profile image and the black outline of a woman with a gun on my sidebar. I have some ideas for incorporating my real picture in, but I'll admit I'm shy about that sort of thing and I'll have to push myself.
I'm still trying to figure out professional versus personal. Mostly I try to be professional but hopefully amusing, and every so often I throw that out the window and put up a comic or link to a silly story. Okay, more than every so often. I try to think of what a potential employer might think if they happened across my blog; because I'm so new - I'm a student, not even out there very much yet - that I don't want to be off-putting until I've got some experience to back me up. On the other hand, I want my blog to reflect my personality. I do not care if it reflects what I had for lunch or how I feel about my dog. I don't even have a dog.
As for visual style, I like to keep things clean and simple, hence the basic colour scheme and use of white space. I'm more concerned with my blog being readable than pretty, and I want it to look like something you can leave on your screen if your boss is walking by. The lady with the gun might not work that way, but she's thematic.
In short: red, red, red, red.