Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? – The Who
A few weeks ago, like 106 million other people, I tuned in to watch a couple of aging mods rehash their greatest hits in front of the largest audience in US broadcasting history. For 12 minutes, Pete Townshend’s power chords and Roger Daltrey’s vocals echoed throughout Sun Life Stadium and caused a whole new generation of TV viewers to turn away from their sets and ask, “Who are these guys?”
Only this time the question was likely aimed at their parents.
In the 1960’s a tailor-made suit and an Italian scooter confirmed you were a mod. In the 70’s a safety pin and leather jacket meant you were a punk. Things were pretty black and white. Identity was pretty much wrapped up in the clothes you wore and the music you listened to.
For my generation however, we’re still trying to wrap our heads around what identity means in a digital age. Is it a Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter account, or god-forbid, a long-dormant MySpace profile?
Increasingly, it’s all of these things.
Won’t Get Fooled Again
If there’s one more defining characteristic of my generation it is our access to information. We’re Googling everything… I even googled the name of the Superbowl Stadium. And we’re most definitely Googling you.
We can see if you’re legit in an instant.
But despite this ease of access, the results can still be murky. So it’s no surprise that most dominant player in search has turned its attention towards trying to clear that mess up. For with the launch of Google Buzz, also came a revamped Google Profiles. Google Profiles have been around since 2007, but as of this week, they are vastly more important.
In fact, they could be the cornerstone of your online identity.
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
If you haven’t done so already, creating a Google Profile is easy. If you have a Gmail account you already have one — just click on “Edit Profile” under your Account Settings. There you can add details about yourself – including links to all of your web sites and social network profiles.
Take it a step further, like I did, and verify your name and email.
You can check out my completed profile at google.com/profiles/jburslem. As you can see, once it’s geared up, your brand new Google Profile begins to aggregate your activity from all corners of the social web.
All of this begs a well thought out social media strategy since your lifestream is now forming the public record of your identity.
I’ve often said if you care about your online reputation, it’s your responsibility to own the top 10 results for your name in Google. If not, someone else does. And that’s not always a good thing.
Google Profiles give you an opportunity to present yourself, on Page One, in a coherent – and, hopefully, professional – manner.