PEAT talks showcases various organizations and individuals whose work and innovations are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. My name is Corrine Weible. I'm the deputy director for PEAT, and I will be hosting today's talk.
Before we get started I'm going to quickly review a few logistics. We will have time for questions and answers, so please enter your questions in the chat window. You can also use the chat window if you are having any technical difficulty, and we will do our best to resolve any issues. You can download the presentation on peatworks.org, and an archived recording of today's talk will be posted online following today's event. We will be live tweeting today's event from @P-E-A-T-w-o-r-k-s, that's @PEATworks, so please feel free to join us and follow along using the hashtag PEATTalks.
Today PEAT is pleased to welcome Ted Drake, who will be discussing how jobseekers can craft their own digital brand to improve their career search. Ted will be sharing with us how several people with disabilities leveraged social media to start successful careers. Ted Drake is an experienced front-end engineer, developer, and evangelical, and accessibility expert. Ted leads the accessibility efforts for Intuit's desktop, web, and mobile products. Previously, Ted worked on some of the most viewed websites on the Yahoo network and managed mobile accessibility, both HTML5 and IOS within Yahoo's Accessibility Lab.
We are delighted to have Ted with us here today to discuss this critical issue. As a SHRM Research survey found, a majority of HR professionals today use social media when recruiting and evaluating candidates. Up on the screen right now we have a few clips from just some of their findings. One is that the percentage of organizations using organization for social recruiting has increased. In 2016, it was 84%.
Similarly, in 2015, 96% of organizations were using LinkedIn, 66% Facebook, and 53% Twitter, and SHERM also found that the top reasons for 82% said it was to reach passive candidates, candidates that were not necessarily looking for a job but that could be recruited. 77% of HR professionals were using it to increase employer brand and recognition, and 71% were targeting job candidates with specific skill sets. So, with that, I'm going to hand it off to Ted.
Hi everybody. This is Ted Drake. Welcome to this talk. It's something that I feel rather passionate about because it affected me personally. I'm going to give you a little bit about my story and about the stories of some other people, and how building their online brand allowed them to get the jobs that they dreamed of.
Before I start, I do want to give a couple disclaimers. This is not a search engine optimization talk, although I will be talking about how people can find you better online. It's also I'm not part of human resources and I'm not part of talent and acquisition, so I'm coming to you from someone that's an engineer and someone that's gotten jobs, but I'm not officially an HR or talent acquisition person. I don't know the ins and outs of hiring, so I just don't want to give a false impression on that. What I'm going to be talking about is how you can use social media, how you can build your online brand so that you can get the job you want.
Now I will say that over the years that at Yahoo and at Intuit I have looked at many, many, many resumes as a way of going through, when we're trying to hire, looking at new recruits, looking at with university outreach, trying to go through dozens of resumes at a time, and trying to find who's the person that we should look at a second time. And a lot of times it's not the resume that gets them the job, it's when we go on and we look at what they've done online is where they get the second view.
I remember when I was moving from one position at Yahoo, we needed to hire my replacement, and the person that we actually hired was a piano teacher out of New Jersey, who actually had not actually worked on a production website before. But he had a lot of information about himself on the Web about all the stuff he had been learning and putting into practice. And we knew he had a lot of potential, so he came in and he actually did a really good job.
So, let me tell you a little bit about myself. Let's see if I can get — okay. So, my name is Ted and I didn't come to technology from a standard path. I was what you might call a perpetual student. It took me, I think, 13 years to finally get my Bachelor's degree, and in the middle, I went through all sorts of stuff. I just kind of basically explored everything I could, from Biology to Business to Art. I finally ended up in photography, doing photojournalism, and then I went on to do telecommunications, and I ended up getting my Fine Art degree, which is not exactly what you would think of when you think about an engineer at a high-tech company.
But in the process, I started learning about web development, and this is back in the old days when we first started building web pages. And I used my degree to get a job at the San Diego Museum of Art. And once I got in there I was able to convince them that I could do the web development, and so I became the website manager for the San Diego Museum of Art. At about that time, I started to learn a little bit about web development. But I still wasn't really good.
And then there was this big shift in the way we built websites. We kind of threw away the old stuff that we were doing and we started looking at this new method, where we were basically expecting that the web browsers in technology would do the right thing, so let's start building web pages using web standards. It was a new concept. It was a newish concept. It was basically going back to the way things were supposed to be done.
But we were a small group of people who were doing a lot of testing and we were coming across a lot of problems. We were active on social media. At that time, it was before Twitter. It was things like forums and mailing lists, messages. We were basically laying down a foundation of knowledge that we were sharing amongst each other, and we were going to conferences. We were building websites and we were publishing websites, but all of this was done because we had a passion that we found problems and we wanted to solve them.
So, I wouldn't say that I was a leader be any means. I was more of an active participant in the standards-based development world. But what was happening is I started building these bread crumbs across the internet about me, not just me as a photographer or an artist, but me as a web developer who had an understanding of this new concept.
By the way, before I continue, I will say that if you can't see my slides there's nothing on the slides that are that important. There may be some images but you won't lose anything if you can't see the slides. And if there is anything on the slide that's importance, I'll tell you. So that was standards-based web development.
In order to get people to know me I created a website. The website was tdrake.net. It was early days, so it stood for Teddrake.net. I went to conferences that I paid for on my own so that I could go and meet these people, and I started specializing in CSS, which is programming for web and HTML for web. And I started going to other people's blogs and I started leaving comments and questions and asking them. So this was not about — I wasn't trying to build a career, I was just trying to learn stuff.
Well, low and behold, I got an e-mail one day, a phone call, actually, from Yahoo. One of the engineers was trying to hire someone for a position, and he was on a mailing list that I was on, and he saw some of the questions I wrote and some of the comments and suggestions to other people. So he then did a search for my name, found my website, found this track record of things that I had been doing and then decided to give me a call and bring me up for an interview. That was in 2004, and I've been in the San Francisco area ever since.
So this was an example of me following my passion and learning and doing what I wanted to do. And because I had built this web of an online brand, yahoo came to me, and that's what I want you to understand, is that people with disabilities, a lot of times, going to that first interview may be difficult because sometimes people see the disability before they see the person. What you can do online is you can create your online persona and they come to you. And your disability of any forum is not what they're seeing. They're seeing your expertise. They're seeing your talent. They're seeing your passion. So, by building these online personas, your brand, you are building your future and allowing people to say that's the person I want for this position. Let's bring him in. And you're getting your foot into the door, guys, so the speak.
I want to give you a couple examples of people that have been able to build their online personas and create amazing careers. The first one is Jennison Asuncion. He has literally become the face of social media, as he now runs accessibility at LinkedIn. Everybody, it seems, knows Jennison Asuncion when you're in the blind community or in the technology community, or the accessibility technology community.
Now he didn't always have this presence, but Jennison was very active in Twitter. He was very active in creating Meetups, bringing people together for hack events, bar camps. He was working at a bank in Toronto, and he was helping manage the way that the bank provided services for its employees and customers. He was one of the founders of Global Disability Awareness Day. And when Jennison tweeted people listened and they retweeted, and so he came to the point where here's this one person in Toronto, but his global impact was huge. So one day LinkedIn came to Jennison and said we want to hire you because you're the person that we need for this position to make LinkedIn more accessible and to help people get their jobs. So that's one example of a person who had a career but was able to expand significantly because of his online presence.
Another person I want to talk about is Kevin Chao. Now I was at Yahoo and I was working in the Yahoo accessibility lab, and Kevin Chao was a student, I think at Georgia Tech. But I'm not exactly sure what university. He was so busy on Twitter, and it wasn't just tweeting very, you know, minor stuff or retweeting people. Kevin was obsessed with technology, and he was testing. And if a new web app came out or a new e-mail, Android or IOS app came out, he was downloading it instantly and he was providing constructive feedback. So people got to know Kevin as the person who had his thumb on the pulse.
He knew what was the latest, what was the greatest, who was doing what. He immediately created a huge network on LinkedIn. His Twitter account was huge, the people that followed him, and the people he followed. His clout was great. When he was getting ready to graduate, he made a trip to the Bay area. And, as Yahoo, we had to sort of figure how to get him to Yahoo. His schedule was so busy because he bounced from company to company. Everybody wanted to meet him, and that was the kind of impression that we had of him. This was a person who was almost bigger than life. I'm talking about him in past tense. I'm talking about his student career.
He then went on. He worked for JPMorgan Chase, he worked for the Georgia Institute of Technology, and currently he is doing quality testing at Google. So these are two individuals who — both of them are blind. Both of them had very important online brands. Both of them had people coming to them for their jobs. They weren't having to send out resumes. They were the ones being headhunted. You can do this. I'm going to show an example later on. You don't have to be in the tech world to do this. You can do this for your passion, and you can have people coming to you.
Before we started this there was a mention of recruiters. Now recruiters really do love social media. I'm not a recruiter, but I look at a lot of resumes, and I can tell you when I look at a resume, I look at the resume for the name and to see if they have a website. And then I start going on Google, and then I start searching and I start looked at their LinkedIn and their Twitter and their Facebook, and I start seeing who is this person beyond their resume. And that's what other recruiters are doing. It doesn't make sense to only pay attention to the piece of paper in front of you. It makes more sense to look at the big picture.
So, do recruiters look at social media? Do they look at the website? Why wouldn't they? They have to. It's part of making sure you're finding the right person for the job. There are some links in the presentation that will take you to more information from PEATWorks for social media tips and how the numbers and percentages and what are the stats behind this.
So, when you're thinking about your online brand there's a couple things that you want to do. You want to make sure that people find you. And then you want to make sure that when they find you, does it represent you. Before this session started, we had a few people logon early, and I actually started Googling people in the participants. I hope you don't mind. One of them, Lisa Beasley, I did find something, and if it's the right person, she's a poet and she leads events. This is the kind of thing that we would look for. It's like what's the bigger picture of this person. There was a lot more than just links to Facebook and stuff, there was actual content about the person.
I'm showing on the screen, this was a tool created by MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It's a way of looking at personas. The link is in the slides. You put in your name and then what it does is it goes out to the Web, and it starts finding all of the things that are associated with your person. It works great if you have a unique name. My name is not unique, so when I search for "Ted Drake" I get a lot of stuff that's not appropriate for me. But if you have a unique name you can actually see what the internet thinks of you. But even without this tool you can start doing this on your own.
The first step is to go to Google. Or you can use Bing or you can use Yahoo, or you can use any search engine you prefer, but go to your favorite search engine and simply type in your name. For instance, if I searched for "Ted Drake" what I would find is a collection of links that refer to me. But I also share my name with several famous artists and athletes and musicians. So, in those search results you'll see me and you'll see a bunch of other people, but you'll be able to find enough about me that you can move forward.
What do you think people see when they search for your name? Are there other people associated with it? Is there anything bad? Does it represent you? An example something bad, I had a resume when I worked at Yahoo. It was a pretty good resume. And when I went to go search for the person, I found that there were a lot of links on a message board, where the person was accused by other people of using open source software, repackaging and selling it, which is one thing, but it was also the way that this person reacted. And the personality that came out in those message boards were enough for us to say this resume is not good. It d4oesn't fit our person. Doesn't fit the kind of people we want to hire, so think about that. Is there something bad about you?
Let's say you had a stalker or something like that that posed a lot of bad stuff about you. You can't get rid of those, but what you do is make sure that your good stuff bubbles up and pushes their bad stuff to second, third, fourth pages. So think about when someone searches for your name, does it represent you? Are you on the page? Does it represent your passion? What's special about you? More importantly, if you search for yourself, would you hire yourself? Put yourself in the point of an HR person. Does what Google show, is that a good representation?
So, the next step is to think, okay, I'm not just Ted Drake. I'm Ted Drake, but I also do accessibility, so add you focus. Maybe you're Jane Smith Fashion or you're Alex Smith Musician, you know, that kind of thing, guitar player. Add you focus to your search. Now this should remove the people that are not necessarily you, and it should focus more on you. When you do this, are you see what you want? Are you seeing all of your Twitter, your Facebook, your images your documents, presentations you've given, recipes you've made, comments you've given? These are the things where you should start seeing your impact. So this is your homework for today, is to search for your name and search for your passion, and see where that leads you.
Now the way that we do that, we can't just do a bunch of stuff. We can't just throw everything out there, because then what you end up is just a bunch of scattered results. What you need to do is connect everything together. You need to have some way of saying, here's my images, here's my videos, here's my profile on this site. Here's my personal blog. Here's my Twitter account. Here's everything. We need to connect them together. So, for instance, on LinkedIn, you would go on your LinkedIn profile and you would point to your Twitter account. You would connect it to your blog. On your blog, you would connect it to your Twitter account. You could connect it to your LinkedIn account. You would connect it to your GitHub account. When your accounts are connected to each other, when they link to each other, your search engines will start pulling them all together and they will start giving each other more importance, and they'll start creating this more rounded view of you and your passion, so this is really important.
Now one of the other things you can do, especially if you're in the technology or marketing department, is go to Klout. That's spelled with a K, K-l-o-u-t.com. Klout is a company that basically tries to say, how important is this person and what does this person represent. So if you go to Klout and you have a Twitter account, then you would go to Klout.com/yourtwitteraccount. So, for me, it would be Klout.com/Ted_Drake. When you go there, you'll go to what Klout has put together as my profile. What is my influence level? I think right now I'm 53, which is pretty good, and links to all of my social media. So Klout is really good to just kind of get an idea of where you're sitting, and it will give you advice on how you can connect things to get better.
The other thing that's really important, especially for university students, is you need to own your content. When I say "own your content," I mean own your website, so have a website. Like I have Tdrake.net, or I have lastchild.com. When you own that website, you can put as much content on there as you want, and it's public, so people can find it, and it's archived, and Google can index it.
If you're still in university and you're publishing everything to the university server and you're creating projects and you're hosting them on the university server, and you're doing papers and you're going to lectures and conferences and you're allowing the conference to publish your paper, all of these things are usually behind firewalls, so Google's not going to find them. And as a recruiter, if I'm trying to find out what you're doing, I can't find them. The only people that can find them are going to be you and your university professors.
So, what you need to do, is you need to have your own external public blog and you need to talk about what you did. So, if you built an app in your class, write a blog post and say, "This is the app I built today. Here's how it works. Here's what I learned. Here's what I want to do next." And if you make that app and you decide to put it on GitHub or something like that, then publish it.
Let's say you're writing a paper for your school, publish that paper externally, unless you have some kind of limitation from the university. The point is, anything that's stuck behind your firewalls are invisible, so you need to own it. The other thing is a lot of times people will use other platforms like medium or niche websites like food52.com, or some kind of recipe hosting domain of the day. What happens when those websites close down or they get bought?
You know, when those things happen, you lose all your content you wrote. But if you go and you buy a domain, you can go to something like DreamHost, which is what I use, or GoDaddy or something, and you go and buy your domain and you put a blog on there, you own it and it's there until you decide to close it or you decide to remove it. You're not longer waiting and worrying about whoever else is hosting it.
I like to suggest that if you have a unique name that you try to get your domain to have that name, and then make your Twitter or make your Instagram, make everything else based on that. I have a friend named Dirk Ginader, and everything he does is Ginader, so GitHub/Ginader, Twitter/Ginader, that kind off stuff.
When it comes to a blog, I'd recommend WordPress. It's really easy to use. It's accessible, so you can also install accessibility plugins so you can make sure that people reading it can use it and you can use the admin, so everything from writing to reading, everything can be accessible. Drupal is also good, but it's not really a blogging platform, so WordPress is a great skill to know.
Think about, also, what are important social media, what are important other tools for you. I know this also depends on what is your passion. For instance, for someone that's in technology they really should have a Twitter account. Twitter, one of the things to think about with Twitter is that tweets are permanent. You don't write a tweet and then it just disappears. It's going to be permanent and it's going to be searchable and it's going to be findable. So just remember that when you're using Twitter. Don't use it for nonsense. Don't use it when you're angry. Think about that tweet you wrote today. Will it help me or hurt when I'm trying to find a job later on? But it's a really good way of giving feedback to other people. Keep everything constructive. Keep it friendly, don't attack, and you'll find that Twitter is a very good and solid tool.
The other thing you really need to do is go with LinkedIn. One of the things that LinkedIn allows you to do is create your own custom URL. So instead of being LinkedIn.com/userblah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You can be LinkedIn/Ted_drake or Jane_Doe or something like that. You can create your own custom URL. Add a decent photo so people know who you are. Make it professional. And use LinkedIn to connect to all of your different things, your Twitter, your Facebook — well, Facebook is optional — your YouTube, if you use YouTube, your GitHub, whatever platform you're using, use LinkedIn as the place that you know that recruiters are going to go, and from there they're going to start searching more. And when you're on LinkedIn and you write a paper or you write an article, publish it on LinkedIn, take that link and copy it into LinkedIn, and let other people that follow you know what you're doing.
There are other tools that people use that are required for your industry. For instance, if you're an engineer, GitHub is the website where people host code. Pixel Labs is for designers. Some writers use GitHub. But if there's a tool that's used in your industry, make sure you're on there, and make sure that people can find what you're doing. Be involved in the community.
One of the reasons why I got my job at Yahoo is that I had gone to conference and met someone that knew another person and was working with their message boards. You know, it was because it was active. You need to be active also. Go the meetup.com. Find local Meetups near you. Go to Lanyrd, that's L-a-n-y-r-d, Lanyrd.com and you can find conferences around the world that are of your topic. If you do a talk, share your slides on SlideShare or Speaker Deck. And use YouTube to curate playlists that deal with your topic, your focus. And if you create videos, make sure you do that with YouTube. And while you're at it, do captioning. Captioning is not only good for people that are hard of hearing or deaf, it's also indexed. So, your YouTube video will be found easier if you have captioning.
Also, for social activities, go to HackDays, go to Startup Weekend, BarCamps. These are technology things, but go to volunteer opportunities, go to community organizing. The more you're out there, the more visible you're going to be.
You also need to think about professional tools. Not everything is professional. For instance, I don't treat Facebook as a professional tool, so I don't link my Facebook to my LinkedIn. I don't link to Klout. I don't link it to my blog, my professional blog, because people, they don't need to see what I do on Facebook. That's more social. If you're into photography, food, or something like that, maybe people need to see your Instagram or your Vine or your Yelp or your Flickr. Whatever is professional, whatever you want people to know of you, link those to your main links.
So I wanted to — I've talked a lot about technology. That's who I am. I've talked a lot about things you can do. I want to give an example of someone. This is a fictitious person. But this will give you an idea as to how you can go from where you are today — maybe you have a particular passion — to how you can start becoming more active, build your persona, and end up getting your dream job.
Now, as I said, this is a fictitious person. But I'm going to talk about someone named Georgia Pine. I got the photograph and some of the details from — there's a website called Open Accessibility Everywhere. The links are in the slides. They have a series of disability personas. These personas are good for companies who are trying to do product design. That want to know, well, what is an example of someone who has cerebral palsy or someone who is hard of hearing or something. So that's where the picture came from and some of the ideas.
So let's learn about Georgia Pine. She has cerebral palsy. She lives outside of Denver, Colorado. She studied accounting at Regis University, and she currently works as a bookkeeper for local companies. So that's her professional biography. But her passion is chocolate. So we have her professional world and we have her passion. So Georgia starts experimenting with chocolate and she starts making recipes and she starts photographing her truffles. And she takes pictures of her chocolates and she uploads them to Flickr. So she has a Flickr account, and her Flickr account quickly becomes filled with pictures of chocolates, and some of the ingredients, so maybe vanilla beans, maybe sprinkles, whatever, nuts and things like that. So she starts building this persona, basically because she's doing what she loves, and she's photographing what she loves. So here's where she's starting to explore a little bit more.
So, then Georgia, one day she goes on a trip to the tea factory, which is called Celestial Seasonings, outside of Denver, and she goes on a tour of the tea factory, and she becomes really interested in how herbs can be combined with chocolate. So she starts experimenting with things like mint and rosemary and thyme, and she starts creating her own recipes, and she starts taking those recipes and she starts adding them to websites like food52.com. And she starts adding them to her blog, and she starts leaving comments that are very constructive on Epicurious or and [indiscernible].com. She's doing what she really wants, but what she's doing is she's starting to put her name in different locations that are starting to build up Georgia not as the bookkeeper but Georgia as the chocolate person.
Now, as Georgia starts getting bigger and more into her chocolate and she starts to specialize a bit more into the blending of chocolates and herbs she creates a blog, she creates a website, and from that website she starts publishing her recipes. She connects to her Twitter feed. She connects to her Instagram feed, her Flickr photos. She has a Facebook page that she uses for these recipes. On YouTube she has a playlist of videos about herbs and chocolates, and she has some videos that she's created. She may have joined, for instance, the Fine Chocolate Professional Chocolatiers Association, so she links to her page on their association website. She then starts linking to her recipe on Food52. She links to her recipe on this site and that site, all recipes. So this one website starts becoming the hub of everything she's doing with chocolate during the weekends. So you can start seeing how Georgia is still just following her passion, but she's do it in a more public way, a more structured way.
So one day there's this chef in Denver. Her name is Susan Pack, another fictitious person. And Susan is looking for some new ideas, so she has a bunch of rosemary, so she does a search on Google on rosemary chocolate, and what she finds on Google are these recipes that are by Georgia Pines. So she finds a recipe for rosemary chocolate bark. She finds a recipe for rosemary chocolate chip shortbread, and she finds a recipe that references Georgia Pine. So who is this Georgia Pine that Susan Pack is seeing?
Obviously, Georgia knows about rosemary and chocolate, so she clicks on the recipes and she starts doing some research on Georgia. She reaches out to Georgia and she gives her an interview. And before you know it, Georgia is hired. So she's now still living in the Denver area. Maybe she moves closer to the bakery. She's now a full-time chocolatier. She's no longer a bookkeeper. She is actually living her life of making chocolate as her passion. So this is an example of someone who has a passion, is using social media to build an online brand, and people can come to her.
Now if she had applied for that job, she would have had a much better chance that Susan would have looked around, found all of this information about chocolate and known that this person, Georgia, is actually very talented. This is what I'm hoping that you'll take away from this talk, is that everybody can do this.
Now I do want to give a few more things, what I like to call the dirty little secrets, that I've learned about resumes and online media. One thing is, nobody cares about school assignments. When we're looking at resumes and we see people go through a course and we know that they're going to be studying Java, I don't really care what you've built in those Java classes. I want to know what did you do over the weekend from what you learned in those Java classes. I want to know how did you build your own stuff. So the fact that you're listing that you built this and this and this in your classes, that doesn't mean as much as if you say, here's what I took from those and here's what I built on my own. Because, remember, everybody that goes to that class is building the same projects. That's why we're not really that interested in them.
And we look for signs of bad characters. You know, we don't care if you get drunk on New Year's Eve. But if we go and we look up your name and we find someone that's getting drunk every weekend, you have to think to yourselves, is this going to be a serious person in our employment. Don't post things that are racist, sexist, or insulting on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or anything like that. These will come back to hurt you. And are your comments and reviews constructive or are they mean spirited? So you may go onto something like Yelp and have fun leaving really horrible reviews for a company, but if those come back to haunt you, was it really worth it. Make your comments on websites and stuff constructive.
The other thing to remember is the Internet is permanent. You may think that something you post, an image or a comment, disappears, but all of that stuff is permanent. It's cached and it's available to find. So don't post anything that you don't want people to find. And remember that things like WhatsAT can be screenshotted, and your friend who screenshotted your conversation could use that against you later on. So, number one thing to remember, the internet is permanent. It's not going to go away.
Independent product [indiscernible] are much more important than your GPA, especially with things like technology, where we're interested in knowing what you can do not what you learned. So work on stuff over the weekends. Work on stuff in the evenings. Think about how you can take your passion and move it forward, and then let people know about those things. A student who's got a 4.0 may not get the job as someone that's got a 2.5, but that person with a 2.5 is doing a bunch of stuff and building apps, and maybe they're not spending time in class because they're too busy working on stuff that shows they know what they're doing.
Another thing is that bad grammar and spelling can kill your potential, so use spell check, use grammar check. And communication is not something you just do once. You have to do it over and over and over. So having a blog and writing a blog post once every week or two weeks is really valuable for learning how to communicate. And have people read it and give you advice, constructive advice on how to be better.
So we have a little bit of time for questions. I wanted to leave some time so that you'd be able to ask a question. I could answer it as much as I can. You can connect with me. My blog is last-child.com. It's last-child. It's because it was early days in cascading style sheets. It's kind of a quirky nerdy rule. My Twitter is Ted_drake. My LinkedIn the draket. My slide share is 7Mary4. My YouTube is 7Mary4responding. Remember how I said you should have one name across all of your things, well, I obviously didn't do that. And GitHub is 7Mary4. So any questions?
Ted, thank you so much. I'd like to jump in with a question. How should people balance protecting their privacy when building their digital brand?
Anything you do publicly is not private. So, when you publish things, publish it with the intention of it be public. There are some tools that are more private than public. For instance, when use Flickr, Flickr is going to be public by default. That was the intention of Flickr. So if you want to share your images use Flickr. If you want to archive your images, you might use Google photos, which are private by default.
One of the things to do is own your search results. So if you're publishing and you're linked to all of your stuff, those things are going to be what appears in the top ten results. If you don't do these things you never know what's going to appear in the top ten results. So it could be something that someone wrote that was mean about you, and that could keep bubbling up into your top ten results, so owning what you do helps. Only publish things that you want to be public.
Great. Thank you. I see a question from Elisa here. She says, "I wonder if you have any suggested resources for identifying fake news before posting or reposting."
You know, it's a good question. It's not necessarily just fake news, but you should work with what you're doing. For instance — I know I've been guilty of this before — I see an article that looks really good and I want to post it, tweet it. And maybe I don't read it well enough, and so I tweet it out, and the problem is that maybe it's not fake news, but maybe the code examples in that article or bad, or maybe they're making assumptions that are not good.
So let's go back to Georgia Pine. Maybe she sees a recipe that sounds great and she tweets about it, saying, "This is a great recipe." Well, if that recipe was actually not good, like maybe the amount of sugar it calls is triple what it should be, people might look back at her, saying, "You know, that wasn't really a good recipe. I wonder if Georgia really knows what she's doing." So it's not just fake news, it's also before you tweet something, you should actually look at the article and see if it's actually a good content and valid content.
Rebecca says, "I work with people who have cognitive disabilities, this means they require a lot of support in creating their digital brand. Any suggestions on how to address that?" I would say work with what people can do the best. "We helped them create Weebly sites this year but have to assume that will not be changed in the future." That's correct. You might want to say let me get a website, a domain, and they may need help setting it up. They may need help curating it. A good example of that is I have a niece. She's 14 right now. I just created her website. She's able to write it herself, but the thing is, she wants to use her softball talents in order to get into college. So her father is helping he curate that website to make sure that she gets all the softball information about her onto her own personal website.
So it could be that working with people that have a cognitive disability, maybe they're creating images and videos and things like that, but they might need help setting up the initial blog, learning how to publish. The nice thing about WordPress is that you can actually publish to WordPress via e-mail. So, I do this myself. I take a photograph from one of my websites and I e-mail that photograph to Flickr. Flickr then publishes it on Flickr, and then what it does is it sends it to my website, and then it publishes to a website. You can actually e-mail to your website, and it will take the subject of the e-mail as the blog title, and the body of your e-mail will become the blogpost. So if using the interface of a blog is difficult but you can handle e-mail, that might be the better way of doing it. You can still get the content out there, you just don't have to struggle with the interface.
It makes sense, Ted. Thank you. One related question, in terms of social media, are there common accessibility issues that you have seen people with disabilities encounter in this process of building a personal brand online?
There have been problems in the past, but I think that we're getting to the point now where the tools are becoming accessible enough. Twitter.com or the main Twitter app was not accessible, but you had Accessible Twitter, which was another version of twitter that was done by a third party that was accessible. Facebook is getting to the point where it's pretty accessible. And I think LinkedIn, I couldn't tell you, but I think that LinkedIn is fairly usable. Some help might be needed just to understand the layout of the page and how it works. I think that goes to the tool and how it's used, how accessible it is and how much work is needed.
Okay. Thank you. Well, I think that's about all the time we have today. I'm not seeing any additional questions. So, thank you so much, Ted, and please join us on Thursday July 20th, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time for our next PEATTalk with Shea Tanis of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. Shea will discuss why technology and information access is a critical right for everyone, and how technology solutions are changing employment opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities.
Again, Ted, a special thanks to you for speaking out on this topic. It's a critical one, and we're so glad to have had you today. And thanks also to all of you who took the time to join us. We hope you enjoy the rest of your afternoon.
And let me just say real quick, it's never too late to start, and you don't have to do everything in one day, but just think about what you're doing and start connecting, and you will find that your potentials will increase. It's always good to own your name on the Internet.
That's a great ending point. Thank you, Ted. All right, thanks everyone.