In How to Curate Your Digital Identity as an Academic Kelli Marshall writes about how to carve out, or claim, a digital identity that accurately reflects your academic and professional life. This is their core thesis, and the article serves as a kind of how-to that is specifically directed to academics that don’t have tenure or a long list of published works.
Marshall earned her PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities so it seems they are especially invested in drawing cross discipline connections. Marshall has 12 years of experience as a college professor teaching on a broad range of topics that generally fall under the umbrella of media studies. It seems like her interest in more traditional modes of media like film and literature eventually lead her to teach and write about new media like social media, web design and functionality, and web presence. After learning her academic background and teaching experience, it’s not a surprise that she wrote an article focusing on digital identity and it seems she is well qualified to write about this topic.
I’ve struggled with ideas around my own digital identity, but more from a work-life balance point of view. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether there is a way to carve out strong digital identities to reflect all the facets of who I am or who I want to show the world that I am. Sometimes I don’t want my digital identity to only portray that I’m a graduate student, academic, archivist/librarian – maybe I want to lead with my more personal, creative sides. I acknowledge that one of Marshall’s first suggestions, a personal website, could be a way around or through this issue. A personal website leaves room for sections that are more academically driven and others that are more personal in focus but I still kick around the idea that, unlike in real life, we can’t choose to reveal or conceal aspects of ourselves so easily. We have to curate – that word choice is so accurate and appropriate.