My Professional Digital Identity

In less then a week my college career will be over. Looking back, I can not help but think that the way things turned out are different then my expectations in High School. I started college at the University of Rhode Island and thought that I was going to spend my four years there. I ended up transferring after my first year to Champlain College. This was the first life lesson I learned that has held true to my core values. If you don’t like something, change it. It was a scary and overwhelming decision to transfer, but this decision was key in bringing me to where I am today. I am about to graduate with a degree in marketing and I have just been offered my dream job of working in the skateboarding industry. Everything has slowly come together within the past two years. This semester I worked on creating my personal digital identity. This blog post showcases my social media platforms and the progress I have made on creating a ‘one stop shop’ to view who I am, what I do and where I’m going.

Social Media Platforms

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These are the seven social media sites that I have focused on to enhance my personal digital identity.

YouTube

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I have been using YouTube for 7 years. It has been very interesting to see how the site has developed over the past years and how the way I use the site has changed with the times as well. When I joined YouTube August of 2007 I was using the site to watch funny viral videos with my friends. Over time I found out how easy it was to create your own video and share it with the world. In 2009 I uploaded my first video and have been creating videos on and off ever since. Two years ago I got a DSLR for my birthday and that is when my passion for creating video truly started to develop. Filming skateboarding, snowboarding or any action sports became a hobby and soon a potential career. I made my first Film Reel in 2012 and with some luck I was able to land an internship with Complex Magazine in the video production department where I worked on set with some amazing talent and directors.

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Today my YouTube channel is a place to display my work and find new and inspiring videos. My goal was to enhance my channel to appear sleek, simplistic and continue to share my videos with new connections. Above are statistics from September 7th to December 5th. As I move forward I plan to continue to use YouTube as I have been, creating new videos and connecting with new people. In addition I have plans to create a series of videos I can upload consistently relating to skateboarding and traveling. Stay tuned.

Vimeo

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For all intensive purposes’s I use Vimeo the same way I use YouTube. Vimeo is a platform where I can display my work and share it with the world. YouTube and Vimeo each have certain aspects that can make them more or less appealing. There are more people actively using YouTube, however the users of Vimeo tend to be more professional. I choose to put only my finest work up on Vimeo as it is more of a professional display of my work, while I put all of my work up on YouTube. Something I like about Vimeo is the ability to join or create groups. For example I placed my III Lands video in the HD Nature group. I like this feature a lot because it makes it easy to find other people creating videos similar to you and make new connections. Unfortunately you need to have a premium version of Vimeo to be able to view advanced statistics but I am able to show you an example of statistics for my most viewed video on Vimeo.

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Instagram

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I have been using Instagram for 3 years and it is my favorite social media platform. The simplistic approach and ease of use has kept me a consistent user. My approach to Instagram in the beginning was very experimental. I did not have much a standard for photos I put up but as time went on I developed a sense for the types of photos I wanted on my Instagram. Today I use Instagram as a personal social network that I am not afraid to share with people in a professional setting. I don’t put anything on Instagram that I am embarrassed of. I treat it as a way for my friends and family to keep in touch with what I am up to and a way for potential employers to get a sense of my personality and what I do in my free time.

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Above you can see some statistics from my whole history of using Instagram. I use a tool called Iconosquare which provides you with great statistics on your Instagram including your most liked photos, most commented on photos, most used hashtags and so much more. Unfortunately I can not show just my past 4 months of history but this tool allows me to get a great sense of how I can continue to improve my Instagram and create more engaging content which will lead to meaningful followers who share my common interests. I plan to continue to use Instagram to share parts of my personal life.

Ello

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Ello is a new social media platform that launched in March of 2014 and seemed to explode in popularity in early September. Ello was brought up in class and I decided I would create an account and test it out. Ello is still in its Beta phase and there are limited functions compared to other social media sites. I was drawn to Ello for its simplistic and sleek design. I however did not find myself consistently using it for the lack of friends using the social network. I however did use the platform for the purpose of displaying my favorite photos. I decided to do this by doing a 30 photos in 30 days project. I however did not keep up with it and before I knew it I was far off track for posting 30 photos in 30 days. I do not consider this a failure because I captivated the attention of quite a few people with an average of 100 views per photo. I will finish the project even though the final product may be 30 photos in 90days.

Google+

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I have always used Gmail and in 2011 Google launched Google+. Whether you liked it or not if you were using a Gmail account you were set up with a Google+ account also. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I got deeper into my college career and at that point I cleaned up the account to accurately represent myself. Currently I am occasionally posting professional content, but more importantly I am always making sure the about section is up to date. My goal for Google+ was to keep it up to date and to use it on a professional level AKA posting major related topics and sharing my blog content.

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I was not able to find any detailed analytics about my Google+ but I was able to compare where I was in September to where I am now in early December. In September I had roughly 2,000 views on my profile and now I have just over 3,000. In September I only had about 50 people in my circles and now I have almost 90. View count is not necessarily my goal rather connecting with people who can offer me something / I can offer them something is more important to me. For the future I plan to be posting on a more consistent schedule, once a week.

LinkedIn

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In 2011 I created my LinkedIn and it is regularly being updated and improved. LinkedIn is my most professional social network where I focus on highlighting my work as a student and any work experience I have that is professional. For me, the purpose of LinkedIn is to paint a clear picture of who I am, what I’ve done and where I want to go all in a professional setting. After attending Elaine Young’s LinkedIn workshop I was amazed at how customizable LinkedIn is and how simple changes can really enhance your page. Even though LinkedIn may say your an ‘All Star’ you’re not one until Elaine runs through your page.

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While my statistics do not look so great I am not that disappointed in the results. My goal is not related to having a lot of profile views but to have quality and accurate information about myself that clearly depicts who I am, what I want to do and where I’m going. In that sense I feel that I have achieved my goal.

WordPress

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Finally we have arrived at my WordPress. This is where everything comes together. I have designed my WordPress to act as a portfolio for my video and photo work. My WordPress is a place where my favorite content from other social media sites can live. In addition the design of my WordPress can easily be changed to suit any type of project I am working on. My WordPress is a place where you can learn about myself and what I do. We all live in so many different places on the web. I created a site where you can find what I consider my ‘highlights’ from the web.

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Above you can see statistics from the past four months. These statistics focus on the traffic that was coming to my website on a weekly basis since I started. As you can see my ‘best ever’ is 249 views and the total amount of views on my site is 1,087. I was able to get information on where the traffic was coming from and about 90% of it is coming from Facebook when I make my status a link to my WordPress. Right now these numbers are fine for what I have done in the past four months. My goal was to create a website that makes it clear to the viewer that because of my video and marketing background I can create engaging content that draws a target audience to a brand on a more personal level. I feel that I have accomplished this goal and have so much room to grow and potentially gain a following with future projects that can live on my website. For the future I am going to work on attracting new followers outside of my circle of current connections.

Metrics

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I decided to use Klout to measure the metrics of my online presence. Klout is super easy to understand and provides a very clear graph of your score. Over time my Klout score has fluctuated up and down but it maintains an average score of 54. After comparing myself to my peers I am happy with my score and feel that maintaing a steady 54 is right where I need to be for now.

SEO

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Unfortunately I am stuck with a pretty popular first and last name so boosting my SEO is going to be pretty difficult. The whole first page is filled with results for an Alex Greenberg who is a doctor and I am no where to be found below him. However if you are to search ‘Alex Greenberg Video’ the first results are my Vimeo page, Film Reel and LinkedIn page as you can see below. For the future my goal is to continue to work on my SEO and work my way to the top eliminating Dr. Alex Greenberg.

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My Values Statement

While my major is marketing, there was also a focus in philosophy throughout this class. Over the course of this class myself and my peers have been developing our own professional value statements. During the first few weeks of class I was not to excited at the thought of having philosophical debates. In the past I found them to be pointless in that you usually never come to an agreement in the debate. But now I have found that, this is the beauty in a philosophical debate. You are usually not going to come to a consensus. This is all well and good because these debates are constantly forcing you to reevaluate your thoughts. To find out what I think, click here.

Moving Forward

At the beginning of this semester my goal was to enhance my personal digital identity by making sure all of my social media sites left an impression about myself to the viewer. That message is, “Because of my video and marketing background I can create engaging content that draws a target audience to a brand on a more personal level.” I feel that I have achieved that goal specifically through my WordPress. Through my WordPress I can showcase my videos and photos while also showing my interests though the blog section of my site. For the future I have the ability to add on to my WordPress and can continue to write the story of me, Alex Greenberg.

7 Backpacking Traveling Tips for beginners

            After I studied abroad in Australia, I took the opportunity to backpack throughout Indonesia and New Zealand. This was my first time backpacking and I learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts about traveling. Here are my top 7 tips.

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  1. Don’t be afraid to travel by yourself. I decided to travel by myself and while this was a scary thought at first, after my first couple days I was very happy I was traveling by myself. I had the ability to change my plans at any given moment and was not bound to anyone else’s plans.
  2. Bring a towel. This may be a ‘no brainer’ to some or a ‘how I almost forget that’ to others. If you plan on staying in Hostels while you are traveling I learned that a lot of hostels would actually charge you for towels. I suggest you buy a microfiber towel. They are extremely compact and dry quickly. Having one in your bag of gear will save you some money and frustration for those moments you just need a towel.
  3. Bring a lock. While I never experienced anyone messing with my gear while I left it in my hostel, I had peace of mind knowing that my gear was locked up and safe. There is nothing worse then having something stolen while your far away from home.
  4. Figure out how much money you are going to bring and now double it. When your traveling the expenses will add up quicker then you think. My philosophy is that you should never half ass anything. If your going to go on trip you got to do it right. Bring more then enough money to do what you want and then some. It’s also a great feeling of security to know you have back up money for whatever reason.
  5. Pack the clothes you would like to bring and now cut it in half. I found myself very frustrated with the amount of clothes I bought because I realized I never need this many options and also because I found myself wanting to buy clothes along the way from different places I visited. I ended up actually ditching some of the clothes I brought along to make space for new stuff I bought while traveling.
  6. Invest in a good backpack. This may seem like a no brainer but your going to have your backpack on you more then you can imagine. This is something that I learned while I was traveling. I did not have a dedicated backpacking backpack; I just had my basic school bag. However you can get creative. I traveled with my surfboard bag because I was traveling mainly to surf. I got a double surfboard bag, which fit my surfboard and all of my clothes. This was very convenient and prefect for how I was traveling.
  7. Have a general destination but nothing set in stone. My favorite part of traveling was the spontaneity. My trip started in Indonesia and I had a very concrete plan of what I wanted to do going from location to location but it soon became to stressful to follow the plan to a ‘T’. I quickly became flexible and this was the best thing that could have happened to me. I meet other people traveling by themselves and it was very easy to join them for a couple days and at any moment I had the freedom to go off on my own and get on to a new destination. This is the freedom you are looking for.

Say Hello to Ello

Recently I was invited to join Ello, a new social network where their core value is being ad free. “Ello doesn’t sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties.” This is quite a giant step in a completely new direction in the way social media sites operate, seeing as almost every other social media site lives and thrives off of advertisers. Ello goes on to elaborate that while you may think you are getting a “free” service through other social networks, on the contrary Ello states “users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.”

Ello’s approach to an ad free experience can truly be appreciated with their sleek and simplistic design. Ello believes ads are tacky. So getting rid of them was the best way to solve this problem and create the aesthetically pleasing site you look at today. You may ask how will Ello turn a profit? Ello is a business and every business needs to make money to survive. Well, it seems that for the future Ello plans to roll out premium features that are yet to be confirmed.

As of right now Ello is in its Beta phase and may be for some time. For now I am utilizing Ello to do a project: 30 photos in 30 days. Keep up with my project on my Ello page.

I would like to leave you with a quote by Mark Cuban

            “Wherever I see people doing something the way it’s always been done, the way it’s ‘supposed’ to be done, following the same old trends, well, that’s just a big red flag to me to go look somewhere else.”