Doppelganger: There isn’t Just One Web You

by Emily Jasper on May 20, 2010

Like all good people who have an online presence, I Google myself pretty regularly. I like to see what pops up, not just of my own work, but that of the OTHER Emily Jaspers out there…

There’s probably a whole population of Emily Jaspers!

You remember back in college how you used to get friend requests from your Facebook doppelgangers who were in school in faraway places like California or Canada? It was fun at the time, but then now you realize…hmm…maybe not so much.

Why is it important to know about your doppelgangers?

If other contacts, bloggers, employers, etc. are looking you up on Google, you want to be sure it’s the correct you. Sadly, you may have no control over what they see. You don’t want them to make decisions based on the profile from someone in Australia instead of you in Minnesota.

For everything that might go into Personal Branding, someone looking you up could have no idea that you have a great personal brand and presence online if they start clicking down the wrong direction.

So if you can’t change the doppelganger’s influence, how can you show people you’re the correct you?

  • Consistency with profiles: I’ve started using the same picture for my profiles. It then is clear when you look me up, that I’d be the same Emily Jasper. There’s an Emily Jasper-Petry who has a neat flickr page, and if you didn’t really know me, could mistake her as me. Except her profile picture is different. If you saw all my other profiles, you’d be able to note she and I aren’t the same person.
  • List some key identifiers: You probably don’t want to list your home address, but you might want to put the same city listing on your profiles. If there are two profiles with no pictures, the city that matches the one listed on your resume would make things a bit easier for a hiring manager checking you out for a job.
  • Make your name as clear as possible: This one is for the married folks. Above, I listed an Emily Jasper-Petry, and for all you know, I could have a secret husband you don’t know about. That’s not the case, but especially if you are going to be changing your name, make sure we’re all going to know who the new you is, but that we can keep the old you information (like your feeds).
  • Provide links when possible: If you have a website, point people to it. Oftentimes, your page may then have the rest of your feeds or About will include the rest of your links. Make it easy for someone to start the Google path by pointing them in the right direction.

If you wanted to make sure someone didn’t start mixing you up with your doppelganger, what other tips would you provide?

Photo credit.