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How I present myself online

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Engaging and maintaining relationships with specific audiences

Targeting specific audiences is key when engaging and maintaining relationships with online audiences. You want to understand your target demographic and maintain a strong personal connection and interaction with this area to keep engaged with your community.

'What kind of audience does the site call for? Whom does the site explicitly address as its imagined audience?' (Smith, S, and Watson, J 2014, P.74)

 

When presenting myself online, both through social media and my website, target a specific audience relating to my industry area is key to creating a connection with those industry professionals.

Engaging with those who are interested in branding, website and user experience, and interface design is important to me, sharing and communicating with the specific design community is key to my online presence allowing myself to create a discussion with industry professionals, and having my name and personal brand appear commonly within discussion familiarising industry professionals with my name.

Graphic by Hamish Boyd

Throughout this connection and online discussion, it is also important for me to remain authentic to my audience and those with who I interact, not presenting my professional persona vastly different to my casual persona to remain real and relatable to my audience.

The best way to sell yourself is to not appear to be selling yourself (Smith, S, and Watson, J 2014, P.74)

 

To me, it is important to appear to others as realistic, friendly, and genuine. Sharing my personal experience and personal interest online is an important part of my online presence, showing you that I am human, and not another designer who is interested in professionalism only!

Despite this, I separate my personal social media, my project-car social media, and my professional design social media. Through this, it allows me to target different audiences.

Engaging those who are interested in cars and the car community with my project car Instagram page, targeting a specific audience. This allows me to create certain community engagement and a platform for discussion that relates to one specific area of interest and not creating too much intersection amongst my social media.

Engaging with different online communities

When interacting with others online, everyone engages with different communities. You are doing this right now, with me. There are many different communities, which have been summarised to four main areas; 'Communities of interest, communities of interest in a common goal, communities of learning, and communities of practice based on the characteristics of bonds and intentions.' (Communities et al., 2020).

My online interactions and connections are quite varied. However, there are two specific communities that I engage in; the car community, and the design community.

The car community is both local and international, with many forums and places for discussion for people with a passion and interest in building and working on cars. There are also niche areas within this community, usually relating to the specific vehicle or geographical origin of the vehicle owned by the person. For me, that is the Subaru Legacy/Liberty community and in a broader sense the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) community.

Photograph by Hamish Boyd

Through participating in these groups and online communities, it allows me to discuss and interact with others with similar interests to me, providing help to others and sharing interesting content that is related to the other in the group.

Secondly, the design community is where I professionally engage with other designers and industry professionals, communicating with others in the community, and interacting with the work others are completing.

Engaging with the design community allows me to interact with other local and international designers and artists, sharing and engaging in their work which exposes me to different ways of approaching design problems. I believe that interacting with online communities that relate to your interest areas or professional areas is a powerful tool, creating strong connections that can positively affect the community and the individual.

Engaging with communities such as these have allowed me to work internationally within my industry, providing me the opportunity to work in Tokyo Japan through connecting with other designers and industry professionals, providing great opportunities for myself.

Photograph by Hamish Boyd

Through this initial connection, it has allowed me to grow my connection with the design community into a broader international community that spans across the globe, spreading my passion, interest, and ideas to others of different cultures and providing me with inspiration from different cultures.

 

References

 

Communities, O., Martinez-Lopez, F., Anaya-Sánchez, R., Aguilar-Illescas, R., Molinillo, S. and Publishing, S., 2020. Online Brand Communities - Using The Social Web For Branding And Marketing | Francisco J. Martinez-Lopez | Springer. [online] Springer.com. Available at: <https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319248240> [Accessed 16 April 2020].

Smith,  S  and  Watson,  J  2014,  ‘Virtually   Me:   A   Toolbox   about  Online   Self-Presentation’, in Poletti, A and Rak, J (eds.), Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, pp. 74[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/2" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" overlay_strength="0.3" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid" bg_image_animation="none"][divider line_type="No Line" custom_height="50"][vc_column_text]

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