When I started writing this piece I didn’t think I’d have much to say, but as my musings took on a life of their own I’ve ended up saying quite a bit! I’ve divided it up the different topics to break it up a little!
Last year one of my university friends on Facebook set the challenge to look up your name on the American Census website and see how many people shared your name. I didn’t expect any results, but there was one, and a quick Google search told me that there is a Lisa Basini in New York who runs a bakery (she took up the entire first page of results). I’d always thought my unusual surname would make me fairly unique, but I was wrong!
As far as my personal brand/identity is concerned my name clearly isn’t unique enough on its own. My CILIP Communities page is automatically named with my middle name included and even prior to this, I’ve often wondered if I should use it more – I usually just write my full name as Lisa Basini. But I have to wonder if including the ‘Marie’ more often would help me stand out in Google searches etc. If I used it for everything it would also provide consistency, making it easier for people to connect online with the right ‘Lisa Basini’.
Brand / Image
Realistically the name of my blog is a part of my identity as well. When making phone calls within the hospital I usually say ‘it’s Lisa in the Health Library’ and the reason for this is two fold: I’m either not familiar enough with the person to recognise my name in which case the Health Library is the important bit; or I am familiar enough with the person to be on a first name basis, in which case the Basini isn’t necessary and the Health Library just adds context.
I’m heading to my first national conference this summer – the Health Libraries Group Conference in Glasgow – and I feel like I should bring business cards, or similar, with me. I also want to personalise my blog and I’ve been thinking for a while about my own website, so styling my brand/image is feeling a bit urgent, but I don’t know where to start. Having had my hair cut this weekend, I might start with a half decent photo for my twitter and blog pages and work from there.
Personal vs Professional
I don’t consider my Facebook use as being professional, I generally consider that I keep ‘work’ and ‘play’ separate, but I do ‘like’ work related stuff such as CILIP WM Branch’s page – so maybe the line isn’t as clear cut as I thought. I did recently clear out a few pictures that I wouldn’t want my boss/future employers to see, mostly because I felt that they weren’t a “grown up” thing to have posted online, but I think that it’s a good marker for deciding what to post. Having never been a big drinker or done anything hugely embarrassing the pictures I took down were still mostly harmless, but I think it’s always worth asking ‘who might look at this?’ before you post something online.