What is Online Presence?
After a couple of weeks, on and off, searching for What is an Online Presence I found several sites where I could see a serious effort to answer the question, even a Wiki page, but no one really made total sense to me, so I decided to build my own answer.
Let's start with the obvious, a website. Of course, you need a website, your operation basecamp, but that is far from being an online presence, that is just what it is: Your Home. As a matter of fact, an online presence could be your name listed on the yellow pages with a short reference, but I guess we are all looking for a somehow more significant definition.
As a matter of fact, an online presence could be your name listed on the yellow pages with a short reference, but I guess we are all looking for a somehow more significant definition.
It came to mind the idea that it would be the same as moving to another city looking for opportunities, something I've done a couple of times in my life. You would be needing a home just to get started, but afterward, you have to build your relations, know your neighbors, learn what is needed in the city, know your competition.
You must let the city know that you are there, let them know what are your plans and where are you heading and what can you offer. You must build your PRESENCE in the city.
The Sum of Online Identities?
We live in the Connectivity Age, no doubt about it, so let's take a look at a few identities -accounts for that matter- an average person could have on The Internet. The list is in no particular order just a raw list as it came to my mind
- Google Plus+
Personally, I hold accounts on the first six and when I started it was only because I was invited by somebody else. I was quite reluctant to "Waste my Precious Time" on all that social hype. For me, it was just a fashion bound to fade and die.
Was I wrong? You tell me about it! The fact is that Social Media Websites are here to stay, and grow, and influence our lives in many ways. So, I started to see an Online Presence as the sum of all those identities.
But the mere sum of identities lacks one important quality: Cohesion. We need an element able to hold all those identities together and make them function as a whole. That's where a website comes in. A website is, or should be, the home base that gives cohesion to all the other identities and makes them work organically.
The Whole is (should be?) More than the Sum of its Parts
So let's start to round up the concept of an Online Presence: The organic arrange around a website of all the online identities a person has created.
Please don't miss the Organic quality. It shouldn't be a bunch of identities thrown in a sack, it should be an Organic Whole, a totality working together with a purpose and a reason to be. Not just two arms + two legs + one head + one torso, but a Body with a soul and a purpose.
I'm starting to like the concept and it already brings in another big point: The Purpose. What is the purpose of an Online Presence?
Well, I might just be a little carried away, but I strongly believe that Online Presence is an evolving concept not totally understood nowadays.
In the not so far away future, there will be "Online Presence Search Engines" that will render reports about just every aspect of an entity on The Internet. I said entity because it could easily be an organization. A kind of Who Is integrating all the identities of the person or organization.
An Online Presence is the organic arrange around a website of all the online identities a person or organization has, with the purpose of bringing to public knowledge his established mission and vision.
Keywords? Really? Again?
Again and again. Keywords are also here to stay. Search engines love them and need them. What I'm saying is that in the process of building an online presence, keywords can't be neglected.
Once you define your mission and vision you should work hard on finding those magic keywords that will allow others to find you and let them know who you are.
The proper use of keywords on your content through all your social media accounts will add a strong layer of coherence to your online presence allowing others to find you and understanding who you are.
I'm talking about content built around the keywords related to your mission and vision.