Building Your Personal Brand

Building Your Personal Brand

In this Storify, I will discuss steps you can take to make sure your personal brand on the web.

  1. In the previous Storify, we talked about search engine optimization for the purpose of making your site well known. Another important component of being successful on the internet is to have a personal brand that sticks. You want people to remember your content from all the other content they consume. Personal branding is one of the best ways to do this.

    A personal brand is a style, logo, or theme associated with you and your career. Everything you do on the internet should be encompassed in your personal brand, so right from the get go everyone knows who you are and what you do. For a more detailed description, see the link below.
  2. So how does one build a personal brand? A website or blog and social media sites are a good place to start. All the imagery associated with your brand should be consistent across all of your sites. Your personal brand is the first impression people will have of you on the web, so you want to think about what components to include based on the impression you want to give. Read the article below for the steps to create your personal brand.
  3. You can have a personal brand for a variety of reason. You could be an artist trying to promote your work, or a business person trying to get their company out there. You want to find resources that will help you with your specific goals in mind.  For an in depth look into the business side of personal branding, see the link below.
  4. The concept of personal branding on the web is still relatively new, and as such we are seeing new types of media evolves from it. Can you think of any innovative way to get your personal brand out there? Leave a comment if you’d like.
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Searching and Search Engine Optimization

  1. The internet is a huge and crazy place, and as such, there are several large companies who’s purpose is to make navigating this mass more manageable. The most popular of these providers is Google. As a user, there are several things you can do using Google’s search tools to make your life easier.

    Search for an Exact Phrase: “Badass Velociraptor”
    Search in a Specific Site: dinosaurs
    Search for a Definition: define: dinosaur
    Search for a List of Products: Click the “Shopping” link on the left panel options
    Search for a Specific File Type: list of dinosaurs filetype:pdf
    How to Include or Ignore Words: If a word is essential, put it in quotes. If you want to subtract a word, -Herbstosaurus (because herbstosaurus are lame)
    How to find related pages:
    How to replace words with synonyms: ~cool dinosaurs
    How to find a specific time for a country: time France (or Pangaea  if searching for dinosaur time)
    For more information, see the following document.
  2. The next question, is as a developer how do you get people who aren’t familiar with these search option to quickly and easily find your site. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the processes involved in making your website known to modern search engines, such as Google or Bing, and is a crucial part of web development. There are several easy and effective methods to bring your website to the first page of search results.

    Meta Data: Meta data is information that is put in the <head> section of a website. It includes things such as titles, descriptions, and keywords. These elements of meta data are the first things that search engine crawlers look at when determining the key content of your website. As such, having direct and appropriate titles and descriptions are very important to a functioning website.
    H Tags: One of the most comment elements of web development is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is a tool used to have a centralized location for all your design elements, such as text styles. Preset text styles in CSS are called H tags, which range from <h1> to <h6>. Making good use of H tags on your website is another important element of SEO. For example, <h1> tags are the standard for webpage titles, and as such, search engines pay special attention to these. Tags like <h6> on the other hand, commonly represent footers and disclaimers, and is often ignored by SEO.Good Naming Practice and Folder Structure: This is probably the easiest thing you can do to help improve your SEO. Having all your links, images, and folders having clear and concise names that are relevant to the content makes it way easier for crawlers to tell what’s going on.

    Site Map: If you have an html page that has your site map on it, it gives the SEO crawlers an easy to read list of the hierarchy of your website. This ensures that pages are not missed by the crawlers, and that all your content is available.

    These are the most important elements of search engine optimization. For more detailed and case specific information, see the following article or check out Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

  3. I hope this article has been useful and informative. For the question of the week, what unique methods do you utilize to get visitors to come to your site, such as having an abundance of easily share-able/link-able content?
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Google Search Tips and Tricks

Below is a list of example syntax styles for the Google search engine.

  1. Search for an Exact Phrase: “Badass Velociraptor”
  2. Search in a Specific Site: dinosaurs
  3. Search for a Definition: define: dinosaur
  4. Search for a List of Products: Click the “Shopping” link on the left panel options
  5. Search for a Specific File Type: list of dinosaurs filetype:pdf
  6. How to Include or Ignore Words: If a word is essential, put it in quotes. If you want to subtract a word, -Herbstosaurus (because herbstosaurus are lame)
  7. How to find related pages:
  8. How to replace words with synonyms: ~cool dinosaurs
  9. How to find a specific time for a country: time France (or Pangaea  if searching for dinosaur time)
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Big Data and Internet Security

  1. The internet is a vast an complicated array of information. This information is generated from a number of different things, not all of which are internet based. Things like where you shop, where you travel and where you work are all elements of things that can get sorted into clumps of data. However, it has only been a fairly recent development that data on a global scale has been possible, due to processing improvements and more reliable and intuitive programming languages. The programming language Hadoop is a major player in why the organization of big data is possible. For more information on Hadoop, see the following.
  2. This concept of big data and data mining brings to light other concerns. First and foremost is the issue of intellectual property. Big data involves collecting data from more than just browsing data and shopping habits, but also by examining your own creative content. For example, if you post a photo to Facebook, your image is now under whatever User License Agreement you have given permission for. In the current day and age, there aren’t many laws or restrictions on how the internet is to be used, and as such it is easy to have your idea stolen, whether by accident or on purpose. For more information regarding this issue, see the following link.
  3. The topic of intellectual property brings us to our next topic, cyber security. The theft of intellectual property is just one of many types of cyber crime out there, and I mean to make you aware of a few others. The simple list of types of crime includes malware, phishing, spoofing, identity theft and fraud, spam, cyber bullying, and cyberstalking. This is a pretty large area to cover, so if you would like to know the gritty details of what this all entails, visit the following government document.
  4. Big data and online security are very prevalent issues in today cyber and physical society. I hope this article has been informative, and I encourage you to leave a comment. Over the past few years we have seen several major laws about internet usage and copyright laws go through government. What do you think is the next big law to effect the web?
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Collusion Graph

Here is a spider web showing the tracking information from a short browsing session. Web generate by browser add-on Collusion.

collusion graph

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Cloud Computing: A New Term for the Modern Society

  1. Cloud computing is a buzz word that has been thrown around a lot over the past several years. But what does it really mean? First, we should understand how cloud computing actually works. For all the information you could ever want to know on the history and functionality of cloud computing, see the wiki article below.
  2. However, this concept is not all fun and rainbows. There are several serious things that need to be considered when using cloud computing, and the giant of all them is privacy and security. This doesn’t instantly write off cloud computing as a bad thing though, but rather something that users should be informed about. For information on privacy and security guidelines, see the article below.

  3. After these things have been considered, you are ready to start cloud computing. There are many different types of cloud computing services out there. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are all examples of social cloud computing, whereas dropbox, google drive, and skydrive are all file based cloud computing platforms. First ask yourself what you need to use cloud computing for, and then find the service that is best for you. If by chance you are a cloud computing developer, then see the below article for helpful links and advice.
  4. And there you have it; cloud computing for the modern era. Feel free to check out my other storify articles, and leave a comment if this interests you. As for the question of the week, what do you think is going to be the next big media type that gets used in cloud computing?
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Closed Captioning Activity

As an example of closed captioning, I have added closed captioning to a youtube video (originally made for a high school TV broadcast) called Clone in a Box Commercial.

The video with annotations can be found at

Here is a download link to the text file detailing the annotations: Download

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Exploring the Digital Divide?

  1. The internet is one of the most powerful tools out there for information and media sharing, business, and social infrastructure. With how great it is, it can be easy to forget that accessibility is still a very relevant and important thing for web development. The Digital Divide is a term used to represent the problems in accessibility that the internet has and how these problems function. For an in-depth description of what the digital divide actually is, see the link below.
  2. As you can probably guess, this poses a number of problems for many individuals around the world. For example, with many businesses going online, it is becoming harder for those without internet to receive a service that may historically did not exist in the digital realm, such as banking. Thankfully, there are organizations out there working to make the internet a more accessible place, such as Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
  3. So the question is, what can you as an individual do to make the best use of accessibility? The biggest thing to consider is who your target audience is. For example, if you mean to address an older community, ensure that the text is large enough for them to read and the menus are simple to navigate. Also, try and make all your content available in both PC and mobile format. For a more detailed list of accessibility recommendations, see the link below.
  4. And there you have it. I hope this article has been informative and useful. After having ready this information, what do you think the next big innovation to online accessibly will be?
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Having Presence Within the Digital Globe

  1. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as internet gps to help you navigate this crazy new world, but hat doesn’t mean you have to stay lost in the vast networks of connections and interconnections. There are plenty of things the average person can do to leave there mark in this newly developing social sphere. Before we begin, lets take a look at one interpretation of the modern internet.
  2. As you can plainly see, the world wide web is a pretty big place, and like any big place, it is full of change. Since its creation, the world wide web has been a place of evolution, increasing in functionality to suit the needs and wants of those who use it. The modern version of the world wide web is called Web 2.0. Here’s a video explaining it.
  3. Due to these things, those with internet have access to a social sphere in which their voice can be heard and can influence change. This change can take any number of forms, from political activism to a discussion about music and movies. Regardless of the subject matter, the internet allows the speed of content and idea generation to increase to faster than it has ever been in history. 
  4. So in a world where the lifespan of content is limited and there are millions of voices all competing to be heard, it is plain to understand how someone could feel overwhelmed. Which brings to us to the meat and potatoes of this article: How does one actually have an effect in the online social sphere? For that, we turn to the writing of social and online analytic scientist, Michael Wu.
  5. Hopefully this article has been informative, and I wish you the best of luck in your future online endeavors. If you’d like some food for thought, please leave a comment telling me what inter-connectivity means to you, and if you think online networking is the right direction for society to head.

    Thanks for reading!
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Making Life: A Comment on ‘Playing God in Frankenstein’s Footsteps: Synthetic Biology and the Meaning of Life’ by Henk van den Belt (2009)

The Article

This article is building upon a foundation laid by Henk van den Belt, which in turn builds upon the literary classic, Frankenstein. The author discusses the implications of what it means to “Play God” within the context of Frankenstein. In other words, what does it mean to have control over life and creation. Classic literary text seem to point towards evidence that when someone has enough hubris, thinking of themselves as having the power of god, they meet an inevitable and unfortunate end. He also discusses what the theological implications of this are, and the struggle between science and theology when it comes to creating new life and “that God’s prerogative is being usurped.” (Ball, 1).

My Opinion

While the author is speaking about something that is considered worth of study, this information seems far to outdated to be in any article written in 2009. The article relies to heavily on social and religious principles from when Frankenstein was actually written, most of which are not relevant to the modern day and age.

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