Thing 3 is all about your Digital Footprint …. I don’t often google myself but when I do, I do so with some trepidation. Thankfully if you google lorna m campbell you get a fairly innocuous footprint. The top six hits are:
- My blog. Rather annoyingly it’s my old blog on wordpress.com, rather than my new blog on Reclaim Hosting.
- My twitter account.
- My author bio on the University of Edinburgh’s Teaching Matter’s website.
- Aggregated blog posts on Open.Ed.
- My profile on the Cetis website.
- The Amazon page for a book I’ve just written: Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates: The Young Gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable.
And if you look for images you’ll mostly find me, or people I’ve worked with, or blogged about.
It’s all very professional as I’m well aware of the idea of digital footprints and the necessity of not letting the streams cross. Having said that, I am also rather conflicted about the whole concept of the digital footprint. I do allow a lot of my personal identity to bleed into my professional digital footprint as I see this as being an integral part of being an open education practitioner. However I also actively curate my digital footprint, I am careful about what I post where and I have some digital channels that I choose to keep private. But I still have very mixed feeling about this.
How much should we allow our professional identities dictate how we interact online? At what point does curating your digital footprint become a form of self censorship? Who regulates what is deemed to be acceptable and professional behaviour in which contexts? And as our personal and professional selves increasingly bleed together online, where do the boundaries of these regulations lie?
There are some really thorny issues here. I’m concerned that a lot of the complex issues around the control of online identity often get brushed under the carpet and I think that worries me more than having digital footprints that stray all over the internet. I’d be very interested to know what others think about this.