Online identity management article in JOEE

We (myself and my research group) have been working for a while on projects related to the management of online identity – that is, how people do, and should, present themselves online, across several social media sites.

One of the first papers in what will hopefully be a series was published this past Friday in the Journal of Online Engineering EducationOnline Identity Management Literacy for Engineering and Technology Students (pdf).

This video explains why you should read the paper. :)

The paper discusses the current employment climate in the U.S., where many employers check students’ Google resume in addition or even instead their paper resumes. It presents data about online identity management of undergraduate students, collected through in-depth interviewing. It then presents a program for students to manage their online identities:

The program begins with social media literacy – understanding the dynamics that make identity management trickier online than off. It then suggests tools, ideas, and direction for 4 steps:

  1. Creating professional online content
  2. Optimizing online content for social media
  3. Developing and maintaining an online professional network
  4. Monitoring and maintaining online presence

Coincidentally, there is an article in today’s university newspaper about this very topic. The article quotes yours truly (I forgot to mention that my name is Dr. V!) and summarizes informally some of the points that are developed formally in the journal article.

The journal article is intended for:

  • college professors, who are asked to consider teaching a bit of social media literacy in their courses;
  • college students, who benefit from awareness of how to manage their online information (at least that’s what the students who read the paper tell me).

And no, you don’t have to be in engineering or technology to find this article useful. :)

Graduate students who are interested in this and other social media topics may find the research seminar I am teaching this Fall interesting. TECH 621: Research Focus: The Social Internet is a course that reviews current research in core social media topics. In this course, students are immersed in social media and work on an original research project of their own interest. More info about the course coming soon, but feel free to contact me if you’re interested and are a Purdue student. And, if you are interested but are not a Purdue graduate student… well, why not become one?

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