I often refer to ‘social media resume‘ as a collection of online and offline activities we all engage in because of what we do, how we work, whom we link to, what we publish, and what conversations we have using social media.
The concept of the data cloud captures some of this, because we are talking of a reputation system that we deliberately create (in ‘about us’ pages, social networks, Wikipedia entries etc) or accidentally inherit (others linking to us, search engine spiders indexing us etc) based on digital information. These bits of data can be tagged and indexed to create a cloud.
There’s a very good discussion of this in a post by lexicographer Orin Hargraves, at the Visual Thesaurus. If you haven’t already come across this brilliant interactive thesaurus, I highly recommend it –yes it works in the form of a data cloud! It’s not free, but for under twenty bucks, fully worth it.
Hargraves goes on to say that we should think of the data cloud “as something other than a pretty, fluffy white thing that scuds across the horizon on a summer afternoon. The data cloud is home to a lot of curious things: bots, spiders, crawlers, gophers, and other critters that work tirelessly by night and day, sifting, indexing, collecting, comparing, and no doubt, drawing conclusions.”
The cloud does not just happen. We build it, color it, reshape it every time we interact socially in our analog and digital worlds. Like our resumes, we “put things into it and take things out of it” as we move ahead in life. Could we manage our cloud better? Definitely. Just as we would unsubscribe to data coming at us, “de-friending” people from our Facebook pages, we could and should clean up our data cloud periodically, because ultimately this is what our resumes will include. No bullet points, no overblown adjectives, no references, but an interactive data stream.
Just like a visual thesaurus.