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This is me… Or is it?

September 29, 2010

What is about to follow are the ponderings of Paul Maddocks, an Audio Engineer based in North West England, specializing in music recording and production and audio post production…

I have recently completed a Professional Diploma in Audio Engineering and production at Futureworks School of Media, and after a short break of 15 years am now back high full-time higher eduction, studying a Master’s Degree in Audio Production at Salford University. Study areas currently include: Digital Studio Production, Sound Synthesis, Creative Audio environments, Digital Control in Audio, Audio Post Production, Multi-platform Distribution and Social Media.

The last of these – Social Media – is a concept that is pretty new to me, and while i use Facebook – and occasionally Flickr – actively, it’s something I’ve never really given that much thought to. It’s just there and i use it as and when, posting whatever, saying what I want, buying stuff too easily, keeping in touch with friends and the (usually) odd relative, etc, etc… Which brings me to the idea of our “Online Identity”, or in particular MY online identity.

The first thing i thought about when considering an online identity is the difference between reality and perception. I think I know who I am (?), but what do others think of me based on my activity out there on The Web? I think I’m generally being “me”, but is the perception the same? Inversely, there are plenty of people out there who are intentionally, wholeheartedly trying to be something – somebody – else. It’s an interesting freedom, if that’s the word.

My currently limited understanding is that we all – sometimes unknowingly – develop elements of our online identity just by clicking a mouse in our browser (in particular by our online spending habits), and that’s something we need to be aware of. However, the online identity of ourselves we actively promote – via social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo, etc – is what interests me most. While my own Facebook profile will continue to serve as platform for socializing with friends and family, sharing info, images, videos and ideas (sometimes rather randomly), the aim is to use this blog as a platform to help focus on my new concerted effort towards promoting my professional online identity as a Sound Engineer. As a result I’m hoping it will lean towards audio/music related topics, subject areas I’m currently studying, projects I’m working on, and – most importantly – stuff that’s interesting, or just plain daft. As a result the facts may from time to time be diluted with nonsense…

  1. Excellent blog Paul, I think your definition of online identity is a very good one and I like the way you introduced yourself, straight to the point whilst providing specific information about yourself, your experience, your likes and hopes for the future.
    Nicely done!

  2. Hi Paul! Good to see you have just started a blog and I’ll be following your updates as and when they come. It is funny you have mentioned the issue of “online identity” and it being something that the Higher Education has included in their studies. It is a slightly weird era we live in where so much information is shared on the internet and without knowing it people can find a lot about us by searching the web (sometimes not a good thing!)

    Funnily, when talking about getting work and networking, my mentor Tim Prebble in New Zealand stressed to me the importance of having a strong online presence. One that will allow you to network virtually with other people like you, potential future, clients and so on. It is important to be easily localised and allow people to get in touch without searching too much. Most if not all of my searching for work, films in development,etc… occurs online and as such I consider my online presence an important part of my professional side. In fact at times it is my only “known” face and therefore an important aspect affecting how potential clients and colleagues/friends see me. All in all quite an interesting times we live in and it is by adapting to these times that we can make the best use of it all.

    Take care and best of luck in your Masters!

  3. Quality blog mate, a good read! 🙂

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