I have to say from a personal perspective I’m largely sceptical… ^can you tell? I think the idea of institutions, organisations and certainly businesses using sites like facebook and twitter holds a lot of merit. It spreads the word and it advertises…but the applicability to my ‘online brand’ in a professional context is limited IMO.
It doesn’t help that the nature of my work is so sensitive that every detail of my life has to be prodded and probed before I can even be allowed on site unchaperoned and when that day does come I can’t even have my phone on me, let alone walk round snapping pictures and hashtagging the hell out of them on Instagram!
As for my ‘online brand’ – I’m happy to keep the personal and professional aspects separate. Googling myself was an underwhelming experience, but I like it that way…I’m not presented with embarrassing photos or scandalous news stories (just the face of minor celebrity Richard Bacon, who has a few of his own!), or anything much about me really, yet with some small tweaks to the search it’s easy to find the content I want to be searchable, such as the professional profiles and published work I discussed in Thing 1.