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I’ve got more Klout than Congress

31 Aug

Klout logo, Klout, the measure of social media influenceOr, did you know that you’re in the (online) presence of greatness?

Now, before we get any further, I’m just going to head this off at the pass, predicting e-mails and comments that I’m sure to receive:

“Maggie, that was a really great blog post, but you spelled clout wrong , it’s clout with a C, not klout with a K . You might want to go back and fix it.”

Actually, for once in my life, I didn’t spell something wrong. (Shocking.) Klout with a K is a proper noun, it’s a system that measures your social media influence . As Klout’s website puts it:

“Our friendships and professional connections have moved online, making influence measurable for the first time in history. When you recommend, share, and create content you impact others. Your Klout Score measures that influence on a scale of 1 to 100.”

Mean GirlsSo, basically, it’s a an internet popularity contest, a measure of your social capital and personal brand. The higher your Klout score, the higher your social media influence. Klout uses gamification to draw you in and even gives you free stuff… so, it’s completely addicting. Getting free things because people like my Facebook status? Turning my social capital into real capital? Yes please! (Of course, the things you get are from paid advertisers who want you to use your social media influence to increase their social media influence…) Continue reading

Personal Branding though Social Media Profile Fields

20 Aug

Or, defining the rules by which we define ourselves

The Open Web Identity is the Platform by Matthew Burbee

Photo credit to Matthew Burbee

Forms and fields are nothing new.  We’ve always had to fill out employment applications and census forms by reducing our lives to just the words that could fit in the blanks or the choices for the check boxes provided.  But they were one off forms, which were then buried in drawers, not published for the world to see.

Social networking is changing that.  Now, we’re filling out forms about ourselves every day and making the information public to our friends, family, and the internet at large.  (And they’re public not in the sense of public records, but in the sense of “Hey, you guys!”)  Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have made the rules of our personal brands.  They’ve told us you need a picture, you need a job title, you need an education history.  Without these and other fields filled in, your profile (really your personal brand) is suspect.  Continue reading

Social Experiment Hacking

14 Aug
Starbucks Card - PrettyOr, now no one will buy this Yuppie coffee.

For the last few days, there’s been much ado is social media circles about Jonathan’s Card, a social experiment that was basically a take a penny, leave a penny bowl writ large.

Backstory: Jonathan Stark loaded money on his Starbucks card (some sources say $65, some $100, some $300) and then posted its barcode on the internet, informing people that they were free to use the card to buy drinks and to put more money on the card.  He wanted to see how people would behave when there was no accounting for their behavior.  Would all the money be gone in 5 minutes or would it grow and last and become some sort of big, feel good thing.  Kind of like “If I Could Buy the World a Coke”, but with Starbucks. Continue reading


4 Aug
Vizualize.meOr, I’m so vain, I know this infographic is about me.

Last month, I wrote about, a new app, website, what have you that allows you to make a custom infographics based on your LinkedIn profile.  (As someone interested in personal branding – and a big fan of infographics – I was very excited about what could do for online identity and personal branding.)  I was looking forward to having the stunning visual resume of a graphic designer, without the need to take all of those pesky graphic design courses.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail saying that had gone live.  Well, at least the private beta had.  And yours truly has been lucky enough to get in on the ground floor!  I set mine up over lunch today.  And by set up, I mean picked pretty colors and fonts –’s algorithms did all the hard work for me.  Continue reading

What does my Facebook say about me?

8 Jul

I’ve been writing a lot about what does your e-mail address say about you, about controlling your online identity and personal brand, and about knowing the importance of what the internet has to say about you.  So, now is time to see what the internet has to say about me.  Specially, in this case, what my Facebook profile says about me.

Maggie O'Toole

This is my current Facebook profile picture.

In my last post, I mentioned Facebook’s Download Your Profile tool.  Of course, I had to try it.  Initial reaction: it’s not very user friendly.  For security purposes, you have to jump through a lot of hoops.  But, I’m glad of that – I don’t want just anyone to be able to download a file that’s an easily searchable record of everything I’ve ever said/done on Facebook.  (Nothing too bad, mind you, but let’s just say that I didn’t understand about personal branding and reputation management in college.)

After jumping through the hoops to download my profile, I received a zipped folder comprised of html files for each type of information that I had posted on Facebook: newsfeed, pictures, etc.  I was hoping that it would all be in an easy to use document that I could run though some filters to come up with some stats about my Facebook usage.  (I was hoping for my very own Facebook infographic like the LinkedIn ones that I wrote about a few weeks ago.)  Alas, the Download Your Profile tool isn’t that user-friendly.  So, I decided just to look at the Newsfeed page, as that’s where most of the text goes anyway. Continue reading

Social Media Marketing: Adding a Visual Touch

29 Jun

Or, You’re so vain, you probably think this infographic is about you., LinkedIn Profile, Visual Resume, Personal InfographicAn infographic generator that will make me my very own inforgraphic based on my LinkedIn profile? Awesome! Custom infographics for use in personal branding and social media marketing? Also awesome!

Today on Mashable, I learned that is a soon to go live infographic generator that will make you your very own personal infographic based on your LinkedIn profile. Soon everyone will be able to have the stunning resumes of graphic designers. (Sorry graphic designers, this new infographic generator means that you will no longer be the queens of personal branding and social media marketing.) I’ve long coveted a visual resume/personal infographic and had been thinking of investing the time in making one to post on LinkedIn, here on WordPress, and on Facebook. But, I was daunted by the time and skill involved in its creation. (My Photoshop skills are one step above LolCats.) And along comes with a solution; their infographic generator will do all the work for me! Continue reading

Domain Names: E-mail and Personal Branding

21 Jun

E-mail Domain LogosToday I got an e-mail with the subject line “Yahoos and Hotmails Need Not Apply”.   It discussed how hiring managers are using e-mail domain names as a way to weed out job candidates.  And it tied wonderfully into all the thinking — and writing —  that I’ve been doing about online identity and personal branding.

“If an applicant applies for a job with us and is still using Hotmail or Yahoo for email, they’re immediately eliminated,” one successful CEO said. 


A Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL email address could signal that you’re not exactly tech-savvy—or not comfortable with change. Gmail (or a personal domain) is considered leading edge. 

It’s not about using a paid e-mail address as opposed to a free e-mail address, it’s about using an e-mail service that provides you with a “cool” domain name, a domain name that signals that your aware of Internet culture and on the cutting edge (or at lease not behind) the tech curve.  We all recognize that our Facebook and LinkedIn profiles are part of our personal brands (or I hope we all recognize it!), but many people may not take their domain name into account.  Unfortunately, you ignore the impact that your domain name can have on your personal brand at your own peril.  Your resume is the ultimate document of your personal brand and it displays your e-mail address quite prominently.  Why spend hours creating your personal brand and crafting your resume if it’s just going to be tossed in the trash as soon as the hiring manager sees your e-mail domain name? Continue reading

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