Years in the Making

This week in EC&I 831, we’re talking digital identity.

It’s been a while since I’ve Googled myself. Much to my relief, when I went to check myself out online again, my own domain was the top hit. I have a fairly common name, so there were some other unfortunate news stories that came up, but they were would be difficult be to confuse.

Just over 6 years ago bought myself the domain kylewebb.ca. While learning about digital identity in ECMP 355 and 455, I realized that I wanted to control my presence online, and owning these spaces give me full control.  If you go to kylewebb.ca today, you’ll see it’s a nice landing page that links you to all the other spaces I currently occupy online (Twitter, YouTube, Blog, etc.). Additionally, I recently changed hosting companies and got a free domain out of the mix, so I also added kwbb.ca to my domain collection (I use it as my own URL shortener using a tool called YOURLs). This was not something that was necessary, but it’s neat to completely control even your links in this way.

With the recent Jeb Bush and Donald Trump domain situation, I looked deeper into domains.  You can even purchase a .sucks domain. I could purchase kylewebb.sucks (thankfully, no one has spent the money to do this!). Actually, I could also buy kylewebb.rocks. It turns out that recently, there has been an opening up of a huge amount of other types of domains you can buy.

I could go on all day about domains, but that’s not what this post is about. Back to digital identity.

Prior to making the move back to Canada, I needed to find a teaching position. In an attempt to be different and share myself a unique way, I threw together this online resume – which is still live and I update it once in a while when I have some time to kill. Looking at it now, I realize it’s probably due for an update and definitely a new picture, this one is 2 years old now.

resumess

My online presence has been almost entirely professional in recent years.  Heck, my only Facebook posts in recent years (yes, years) have either been about moving or an article that I felt needed to be shared with those people I haven’t talked to face-to-face in years (that’s what Facebook is for, isn’t it?).  Although I manage the spaces I share online, I haven’t been as concerned about my digital identity, because I’ve been sharing myself in a professional way for years, since the beginning of my teaching career. Like many of the students I teach, the more personal aspects of my life have switched to smaller, more intimate spaces.

If I hadn’t set up these spaces to act the way I want, the thought of my students, parents of my students, or colleagues stumbling across me online would be horrifying. But, quite regularly, I have students come up to me and tell me that “they found my website”. Instead of panic, I can ask them what they think about it. Often their feedback is quite interesting and we’re able to have a conversation about why I have these spaces. Ultimately, most of these conversations end in the students asking about how to make their own. Even though most of my students do have some sort of online presence, getting them to think about how to own it and make it a positive space that reflects who they want to be online can only be a good thing.

There is true value in owning the spaces you operate online. Although it might take a little time set up, there’s something to be said about controlling your own identity. Plus, as a teacher, modelling positive digital identity for students is a bonus and lesson that will certainly serve them well as they grow up.

Photo from UnsplashThom

My Digital Footprint

This week in ECMP 355 we have been sent out to investigate our current digital footprint.

When I first search for my name in Google’s search engine, only one link relating to myself shows up.  It is a link to Dan Meyer’s blog post, Redesigned: Kyle Webb.  Everything else on the first page does not relate to me.  Page two is a bit more of me.  My Flickr page, Vimeo page, and Twitter page all show up.  So far there have been a few Facebook pages for other Kyle Webbs, but not me.  I quickly clicked through pages 3, 4, and 5 but nothing showed up.  I was pretty disapointed that my blog hadn’t showed up so far.

My digital footprint is hard to find (from Flickr)

My digital footprint is hard to find (from Flickr)

Next I searched for “Kyle Webb Canada”.  The first thing that appeared was a LinkedIn page, which I did create a while ago but haven’t really used.  Also on the first page, was a link to my Twitter page again and a link to my profile on the Educator’s PLN Ning Site.  Page two had only one link, to one of my mentor’s blogs where he talked about the math problem I created.  Pages 3,4 and 5 again had nothing about me.  At this point, my Facebook page still hasn’t appeared.

I then attempted to search for “Kyle Webb Saskatchewan”.  Finally my Facebook page appeared.   Nothing else really showed up.  I am also a hockey player so I searched f or “Kyle Webb hockey”.  It turned up a few league sites (QVHL, PJHL, SMAAAHL).

Perhaps my name is too common for items only related to me.  But, I was really disappointed that my blog did not show up.  When I go to apply for a position as a teacher, I want that to be one of the first things that shows up when I’m Googled.  I did not find anything that I wish wasn’t on there, which is a huge relief.   However, if anyone else did find anything they didn’t want to appear, they should check out this article I found through a link on Twitter: Un-Google Yourself.