Social Media Tip #4 is Create a Google Profile. Click here for all 10 Social Media Resolutions for 2010. Social Media is the best thing to ever happen to reputation management, at least as far as John Q. Public is concerned. The number of free blogging and social networking tools that allow users to broadcast their message and interact with large audiences is seemingly endless, and fortunately the largest search engine in the world also gives individuals a way to claim their online identities within its search results. When performing a name search in Google, Google profiles matching the searched name will show up at the bottom of the first page search results as shown below.
Anyone can create a Google profile, all you need is a Google (Gmail) account. You can sign up or login to your account by visiting http://www.google.com/profiles. Once your new profile is activated you can begin to add as much or as little information as you like. Your Google profile allows you to display basic information about yourself such first and last name, your nick name, aliases, your home town, where you currently live, and other places you’ve lived which will all be displayed on a map on your profile. You can also display an aggregate list off all of your blogs, web sites, and web profiles which will be displayed on a sidebar on your profile. When adding links to your profile, if you add a link to a blog or website with XFN (micro-formatted) links as WordPress uses in its sidebar, Google can use the XFN formatting to determine other links that belong to you and automatically import them into your profile.
If you’re a shutter bug Google allows you to import a photo stream from Picassa, Flickr, or other photo service which will be displayed at the top of your profile. If you’re a Google Buzz user your Buzz feed will also be shown on your profile as well. If you would like would like you can also add your contact information to your profile which will only be visible to groups of contact you chose from your Google Addressbook.
If you would like to go an extra mile in claiming your online identity you can verify your name with Google which will place a “Verified Name” label at the top of your Google profile, to do this you must go to the Google Knol website, click on preferences, followed by name verification. You’ll need a credit card or social security number to complete this process (this option is currently only available to US residents).
If you’re looking for a way to affirm your identity to the world, a Google Profile lets you do it with the world’s largest internet search and media company.