The Case of the Digital Footprint…

As part of the PLP ConnectU project, I thought I’d share my thoughts on my own digital footprint and what turned up of late. The overall ideas coming through is that a digital footprint is an inevitable step for young users, of course many students would already have quite significant footprints. Our task is to educate and guide them to making the right digital footprint as they move through the early part of their lives. It’s an old saying…you never know who might be watching. And in my opinion, this doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

Here are my reflections on my own footprint as it stands in May 2011…

I have googled myself on occasions in the past. At times I have done it for plain curiosity, to see what the most common sites are where my name appears and to remind myself of places where my name resides (in case I have forgotten that particular little footprint).

Summary: Four of the first five links are to other Nings and education related websites that contain my photo, biography and details of a presentation that I have delivered at a particular conference. I discovered some vodcasts and podcasts of my presentations that have been uploaded to these spaces.

Intriguing: The first link at the top of the Google search was a comment I made on a Facebook page that belongs to a vineyard close to my local town. The comment was positive and innocent, about the prospect of receiving a free hot cross bun over Easter at the vineyard! I have an active Facebook account but do not use it heavily. I filter my Posterous blog through Facebook and keep in touch with overseas friends via email messages most of the time.

Point of Interest: My name appears on a MySpace link to my band’s profile page. This is one of the few band links as we have had a quiet past two years on the gig and recording front.

Minor Concern? : One of the links on the first page is to the Rate My Teacher website. I have been given a rating and the school has been named as my place of work. The rating is positive (5.0) and no comments accompany it. The rating was posted in February 2010. What would you do about this find? Do I try to have it removed?

With a surname that contains a hyphen and is not overly common, it is interesting to see what comes up. I am yet to discover another ‘Rick Kayler-Thomson’. I found it interesting as you scroll past the links containing my complete name, the next ‘hit’ to the search is my younger brother’s name. Although a qualified teacher himself, many of his links are associated with his professional football career.

An interesting task. Overall I am comfortable and happy with my digital footprint. I have a strong professional presence on line that I’ve established over the past few years. My social footprint is appropriate and well controlled it appears.

3 thoughts on “The Case of the Digital Footprint…

  1. Thanks for sharing your findings here.Fascinating, isn’t it? I’m not sure I would worry about Rate Your Teacher (especially since it is good!). But keeping track and being aware is certainly necessary.

  2. Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the comment. I’m not too worried about the Rate My Teacher issue. But it was that easy for someone to submit it, how easy is it for another?

    Thanks for reading.
    My band’s name is ‘Domino Theory.’ Due to lots of things going on we don’t have a gig coming up in the near future. We are in a bit of a transition phase. Lots of breaks and gaps over the past 24 months.


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