My Digital Footprint Plan

Background: For this assignment I was challenged to come up with a plan on how I am going to manage my digital footprint. After careful thought and reflection, I decided to go with a plan that I would implement in the next couple of months that fits my needs and professional goals. I chose to go with a plan that would increase my digital footprint in a positive way while at the same time, being vigilant. Since the inception of this assignment, I have already accomplished a couple of the goals. I look forward to fulfilling the steps to my plan in the upcoming months. I would appreciate any feedback.

Matt Smeller’s Plan for a Positive Digital Footprint

Craft Myself

As I begin my career in educational technology along with my previous background as a music educator, I think its important for me to examine the content of my digital footprint from this point on. As I start to change my online behavior from consumer to producer, evaluating who I am as an educator and what I want to become is crucial because it will reflect the footprint I leave behind. According to Negroni (2013) before anything else, you absolutely need to have a clear idea of how you want to brand yourself (this can be broad, so don’t panic.) Simply put yourself in the shoes of someone who just stumbled upon your LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever else (Negroni, 2013).

Purchase Domain Name

I have just purchased my domain name – By doing so, I am able to help control what other people see when they google me (Taub, 2012). Although my name is unique and it’s probably unlikely someone would purchase my domain name, I thought I should be vigilant and take the proper precautions.

Create an “About Me” page

Creating an about me page and linking it to my email signature is a great tool that will help visitors to learn more about me professionally (Taub, 2012).

Google Alert

Keeping an eye out for what others are saying is important to maintaining a positive digital footprint. Setup and schedule a Google alert for your name to arrive in your email box every time Google finds new material with your name in the content. This will help you stay on top of new results whether or not they hit the first page of search results (McGinnis, 2012).

Re-examine Privacy Settings On Social Media Sites

You may think that your account is already on lockdown, but Facebook privacy settings change often (Riley, 2013). To combat these continuous changes in Facebook and other social sites, I will continue to monitor and update settings so that my settings work for me and my professional and personal goals.

Think Before I Post  

My goal is to make sure that what I share online is valuable and worth sharing. I need to remember the model of exponential publication and transmissions means that once tweeted—or otherwise published in a social network—there are no ‘take-backs” (Hengstler, 2011). As an educational technologist, I will work hard to only share what’s important and relevant. I want to create a positive digital footprint for myself and will definitely think before I post.


Blogging is an excellent way to showcase your interests and skills online. Attaching your name to engaging blog posts shows you’re passionate about a topic and can display your communicative skills (Jalger, 2011). I have many uniques skills that set me apart from others, why not share them for the greater good!

Consistently Use Twitter

Twitter is an amazing tool that helps all kinds of people connect in a variety of ways. My approach is to use twitter as a continuous PD tool. Twitter provides endless opportunities for educators, students, families and others to connect, have their thinking challenged and to be inspired (Davison, 2014)

Utilize Video

Using sites like Youtube and slideshare are great resources to expand my digital footprint in a positive way. Used in a smart way these applications can be an excellent way to showcase students’ creativity and promote themselves and their work (Jalger, 2011).

Join Linkedin

Linkedin is the world’s largest online Professional Network that I need to join. Since I am looking to sell myself as a viable candidate for a technology integration position in a local school district, I need to create an account to begin networking. Ninety-four percent of recruiters are using LinkedIn to discover talent (Ruesink, 2014).  


Davison, S. (2014, August 6). Twitter connects learning inside, outside the classroom. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Hengstler, J. (2011). Managing your digital footprint: Ostriches v. Eagles.Education for a digital world, 2.

Jalger, J. (2011, April 11). The power of a positive digital footprint for students. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

McGinnis, S. (2012, August 23). Online Reputation Management: A How-to Guide by @seanMcGinnis. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Negroni, J. (2013, May 22). 5 Steps to Branding Yourself Online. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Riley, L. (2013, December 22). How to Clean Up Your Digital Footprint and Your Online Identity |. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Ruesink, M. (2014, January 30). Social Media Do’s & Don’ts: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Profiles Professional. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Taub, Alexander. (2012). 5 Key Things Needed To Improve Your Digital Identity. Forbes. Retrieved from



Filed under AECT Standards

2 responses to “My Digital Footprint Plan

  1. Hi Matt

    I enjoyed this post. I would highly recommend joining Linkedin if you have not already. It is a great place to gain professional contacts. I shared many of the same bullets. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Matt, I like the simplicity of this. It is an actionable plan with some clear goals that you can set about working on. It is almost the opposite of mine in terms of layout and presentation . . . which I like. There is no distraction or hidden meaning to it. It simply states, ‘here is what I am going to do’. I like that.
    Many of our ideas are similar in nature so I am looking forward to helping working together to stay on track.

    I like that you include that you will think before you post. It seems so simple but so easy to miss on a plan. We take it for granted but one badly placed comment can undo years of good work.

    I also like that you included Video – something that I omitted but really want to make more use of. I think you have the basis of an effective plan, based in good theory which will help you to establish a positive web presence.


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