This week I have tried to “clean up” the appearance of both my WordPress blog, and my about.me page, to better reflect my online professional brand. To start this process, I first tried to identify those things, in each of these sites, that I felt were negatively impacting my professional online brand.
My WordPress blog, up to this point, was just a stock theme that I somewhat randomly chose at the start of the semester. There was no color on the site, and there were random WordPress default widgets in the sidebar. The site was plain, without any style or character whatsoever. It was, in a word, boring, and that is certainly not the image I want to portray! I have wanted to address this problem for some time, and this week’s assignment has given me the opportunity to do just that.
As for my about.me page, while I did originally try to put together a somewhat personalized page, I now feel that there was just too much extraneous information included in my Bio. It would be nice if this service provided a way to “compartmentalize” different categories of information, perhaps in different pages, but it does not. After looking through numerous About.Me pages, I now believe a good about.me page is short and to the point — somewhat like a business card. Less is more.
What follows are the changes I have made, why I have made those changes, and why I feel my blog, and about.me page, now better reflect my online professional brand.
- Blog Changes
- Changed the overall theme – the new theme has better contrast. The dark background and light colored text makes it much easier to read. The new theme does not allow me to change the font-family, but the font it uses is acceptable.
- Changed the tag line – The new tag line better describes what the blog is about.
- Removed unneeded default widgets – In particular, the “meta” widget which, in my opinion, in unnecessary and screams that this is a stock WordPress blog. I also changed the title of the “Archive” widget to “Post History” for the same reason.
- Added a new header image – This may be somewhat less desirable (for SEO) than using header text, but it adds a nice style to the blog. I chose an image that reflects both math and computer science/technology.
- Added a new “About.Me” widget – Viewers should be able to easily get to my About.Me page from my blog. I originally created a hyperlink to my About.Me page – That was not a good idea…
- Added a twitter widget – This, if I ever get proficient with twitter, adds a more dynamic element to the blog by updating more frequently that the posts to the blog.
- Removed the “About” page – With the About.Me widget in the sidebar, this page is redundant, and may even be confusing to readers. It may be that another page called “Professional Details”, or something like that, could be used to elaborate on the About.Me page, but this seems awkward to me as well. It may be that the About.Me page should include a link to another site where professional details can be found.
- About.Me Changes
- Changed “Headline” – The headline now states exactly what I do professionally; it is clear and concise.
- Removed extraneous verbiage – The Bio is now rather short, but it doesn’t look so much like a pseudo-CV. If I could make three different pages, I would elaborate more on each of my three headline activities, but I can’t, so it is what it is.
- Changed background Image – The old image was related to math only. I think it is more appropriate that it is now more math/computer science themed. More importantly, though, it is now consistent with the header image on my blog. This looks much better when displayed on the blog’s about.me widget and makes the transition from blog site, to about.me site, seamless.
In the end, I believe these changes have provided my blog, and my about me page, with a more polished and professional look. It is now clear what my blog is about and what I do professionally. While I think more could be done to these sites, they now reflect my online professional brand better than they did before.