Since starting my Web 2.0 course I have learned a lot about creating a digital footprint and about so many web tools that I had no clue about. In doing an update vanity search for my name, I noticed just a few more entries in Google (my new twitter and posts), a few third party data driven search engines, and some background check site. I don’t feel any negative way about it though because I’ve come to understand that the more I create and use the web and its tools, the more my digital footprint will grow, and when it does, I want it to be in the right ways and the right places. I have a very unique spelling of my name, which includes an accent mark that I just recently began using full time. I also have started incorporating my middle initial in order to further solidify my identity online and in other ways. I look forwards to see how these slight changes will cultivate a better digital footprint as I continue in my career. The best thing I’ve learned about vanity searches are what’s important to focus on to stand out!
This week of introduction to Web 2.0 and grad school as a whole was very surprising and intriguing to me. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about what I’ll be learning and what I have already learned. For my first initial vanity search, I went to Google and typed in “Chelse Woods” and “Chelsé Woods” (the correct spelling of my name) and I noticed a few things immediately that I wasn’t expecting to see.
The first thing that I noticed in the search was an IMDb.com link to my work on a film and a web series (‘Carter High Movie’, ‘Washed’ I have official credits on that I didn’t even realize! I knew that I had done work on those projects (and a few more that are not listed), however, I did not know I was officially listed on them. I searched their IMDb profiles for more information and to double check the accuracy. I also noticed information listed from various database sites on my businesses and registration information, as well as information on my business website. I noticed links to my work website and my high school class alumni site, and my LinkedIn. I did not notice any pictures under the image search that were mine immediately, nor did I see any news or shopping articles. Under ‘Videos’ there were links to videos I had created on my website and also on YouTube under my real name.
I think it is very interesting how most of what you put on the internet never goes away. It is always available to be researched and accessed. In my searching there were several other people with my name and with their own digital footprints. I can only image what someone with a more common name or spelling has to go through to stand out in the crowd digitally through search. The more specific the information, the better in setting yourself apart or being able to find what you are looking for.