I never spend a lot of time – honestly any time – thinking about my digital identity. I kind jumped ahead on the search for your current identity activity during our discussion last Monday and Googled myself during our group meeting. I was a little surprised by the results.
Some folks on campus probably don’t realize that “Anewalt” is my maiden name and that I only use it at work. So in searching for “Karen Anewalt”, I fully expected to see all sorts of professionally oriented things. I didn’t expect that little pieces of my non-professional life would spill in as well. Also, Anewalt isn’t a very common last name, so I also expected everything to be about me rather than other folks sharing my name.
The top few hits were to be expected: UMW’s Meet the Faculty and RateMyProfessor. I would have guessed those would make the front page.
The top 4 images were interesting because they are 2 faculty photos of me, then a photo of a little girl who I’ve never seen in my life, then an image from a site about making lunch boxes for American Girl dolls. That last one I didn’t see coming. It’s from one of my Pinterest boards. I pin a lot of crafts to do with my kids and my daughter loves making stuff for her dolls. I don’t pay a lot of attention to who follows my Pinterest, but based on that photo being included as one of the top hits related to me, I’m guessing that most of my followers are also AG crafting fans. I guess I do get a lot of repins anytime I post something new on that board. After about the first week on Pinterest, I stopped paying attention to who repinned or “liked” my pins.
Next up, we have a website from Project Kaleidoscopee, an interdisciplinary STEM faculty initiative that I’m part of, although I haven’t been all that involved for the past 5 years – maybe it’s been even longer. That link is one of the few spots on the Web that includes my married last name. Interesting. The link is broken and I’m not sure what ever lived there, but I doubt it was something that I put together.
Then there’s my YouTube channel containing all sorts of video goodies for my courses.
And a LinkedIn account, which isn’t me, but is a Karen Anewalt who is a proposal manager for a civil engineering firm in NY, NY. I didn’t see that one coming – probably a distant relative.
Next up we have one of my bigger journal pubs. Then some pretty normal stuff rounds out the first page: facebook, Google+, ancestry.com.
Interestingly, if you Google my legal name, there’s not a single hit on the first page that is actually related to me. I wouldn’t have guessed that, but I’m not all that disappointed either.