Before I started the blog, I worked with Mark Heitke to line up the right social media sites to make up my public profile. I initially wanted to have a single web site built using iWeb and then pay a hosting provider to publish the site, but then I learned that I could create a web presence for free and likely reach more people.
I settled in on the following 5 free web and social media sites to create my public profile.
About.me would be the elevator speech and front door to my public profile. About.me has a simple one page concept where you can select your own background image and color scheme. Then you write a couple words, sentences, or paragraphs about yourself. Because I'm creating a professional profile, I choose to write just a couple short paragraphs highlighting my professional capabilities. From about.me you can easily add just the social media sites that you use and a couple extra hyperlinks to other specific sites. I added buttons for blogger, twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I also added a couple links to our corporate website and flagship product, Capriccio Fuzion, website. I'd like to put a professionally photographed bust as my background image, but for now I have one of my favorite family photos from our winter vacation at Massanutten from a couple years ago.
Onto my blog site. I still want to be able to update my public profile from any internet device, so I decided to choose between available free blog websites. There are many available, but I settled on blogger from Google. Blogger's UI comes with a wide assortment of out-of-the-box themes to choose from. After you apply your theme, you customize and tweak as much as you want, including full control of the page html. Blogs can be written and edited right from the blogger web interface. Blog posts can be drafted online and choose when to publish either by clicking the publish button or by scheduling the blog to publish on its own. I find this to be a great feature, because I can draft and edit my upcoming articles and then schedule them to post based on my blog plan.
In addition to having a site for posting my professional writings, Blogger allows you to easily add Google AdSense advertisements to the blog. Perhaps after a couple years I'll make a couple dollars and in small way justify the toil of publishing my thoughts to the World Wide Web.
LinkedIn is clearly the dominating professional social media site. It allows you to share your full work experience, education, and skill sets. You can interact with professional contacts and search for others by location or desired skill sets.
I don't pretend to understand the power of twitter yet, but I do like that I can keep track of people that I would not normally be 'friends' with on Facebook. Twitter enables you to post very brief comments into the global stream. I currently have a meager following of 15 people, and I only follow 15 people, but I've been told that I need to post into the twitter stream a couple times a day. It is a good way, and maybe the only way without paying advertising dollars, to drive traffic to my blog site.
Finally, my public/personal web site allows me to share personal info with family and friends. I try to limit the number of professional contacts on Facebook, simply because a lot of my family's personal events end up on Facebook. I try to live in a glass house, but I also like to be able to draw a line between my thug personal life, and my white collar professional life.