Creating a Digital Persona

Creating a Digital Persona
Photo by Greg Johnson on Unsplash

For someone who is somewhat digitally savvy, the notion of creating a digital persona is a tad scary. How big is the World Wide Web? According to Stephanie Pappas, a contributing writer for Live Science, in September 2014, there were 1 billion websites on the Internet. Though that statistic is a bit dated, it is easy to see that there is an extremely large number of websites on the internet.

How do I compete with that? There could now easily be two billion websites or even more, depending on the rate of growth over the past nine years. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps. Regardless, one versus a billion or more seems like insurmountable odds. Ali versus Frazier, David versus Goliath, or the Spartans versus the Persians would all be better bets. I cannot think negatively about this, though.

I hope to create a website that gets a little traffic. I could post a link on my Facebook page. I could also post one on my LinkedIn page. However, this persona is different from both my LinkedIn and Facebook personas. LinkedIn is for being professional, while Facebook is for sharing updates and photos of family. Don't forget the memes!!!

Domain Name

As I pondered what website I would create, I had to think of a name. This name would be catchy and speak to the persona I already have and continue to develop. One of our instructors at work often barks, "Always go with your first choice!" I am sure there are times when that does not apply, but it seems to fit in this moment.

I settled upon drromano2b.com. There are a few justifications for why this was my first choice and why I selected it. One of my bucket list items is to earn a doctorate. Some of my motivation is to climb higher professionally with the federal government. A doctorate will certainly help. I hope to teach classes in the evenings to supplement my income and share the knowledge I have amassed over much of my life. A doctorate will help earn me a position, and it will guarantee a higher salary when I negotiate it. These are respectable reasons, but there is one more.

My primary motivation is to be the next Dr. Romano in the family. There are already several, one of which is a biochemist from Harvard. Other Dr. Romano's cover varying fields of engineering, mathematics, and the sciences. There are many high achievers throughout the generations that settled in the United States upon leaving their homes in Vasto, Italy along the Adriatic coast.

Another justification for naming my website what I did was that it is one of the monikers by which I am known at work. Friends and coworkers often call me "the Professor" or "Dr. Romano." "Mike" is too plain, and I really do not like being called "Michael." It sounds too formal. If and/or when the day comes that I earn that doctorate, I will embrace the formal nature. They all know that I am a lifelong learner and a career student.

Design

As previously mentioned, I am a little savvy with the internet. Being older than most college students is both a blessing and a detriment. Potentially, I possess more world experience, but I have less patience. With that in mind, I chose a basic design. I think of my website as being for visitors who may share a similar mindset. I do not care for anything flashy or even outright gaudy. My ugly Christmas suit ensemble will have you believing otherwise, but I am sure there will be a time and place to share that later.

Basic in design, it is a preformatted template. I am free to amend it, and I will in due time. I currently have one picture - the one I shared in my first post here on Ghost. This is also my LinkedIn photo.

Writing

In what genre or type of writing do I want to specialize? I like academic writing for the formal nature. Sharing information backed by research conducted by professionals in their respective fields has got to be among the best methods of spreading knowledge. I like the idea of blogging for simply sharing my thoughts on what has transpired. Journaling sounds fun, too, as I could share personal stories. There are too many choices. Do I have to narrow it down to just one?

There is creative writing. This encompasses a broad spectrum of writing. My abilities in poetry are comedic at best. I wrote a really good one my senior year of high school that included at least one line about each person in the class. Everybody loved it. I now wish I would have saved a copy.

Still, I am not trained enough to write good poetry. Amanda Gorman's poem brought tears to my eyes as she spoke to the world. Our president was moments away from taking the oath of office. I sat on my couch and pondered whether or not I could be half as creative as a writer and speaker.

Currently, I am working on writing my first book. It is my memoirs of my time as a military brat. My formative years through my adolescence were fascinating times. A world away, I sat in a classroom in Iceland and learned that one of the most historic space shuttle missions in history ended in tragedy as the Challenger exploded seconds after liftoff. I was in middle school when then-President Ronald Reagan uttered, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." A couple of months before I graduated from high school, I sat in disbelief to discover via MTV that one of my generations greatest rockers, Kurt Kobain, had taken his own life. I do not want to give away too much of my story, but maybe I can share some of it on my website.

The more I have thought about it, the more I hope to focus on a combination thereof in my writing. I hope that by sharing different forms of writing, I can appeal to a wider audience. I do not want to be confined to just one style.

Mike Romano

Mike Romano

Mike is currently a technical writing graduate student and a civilian US Navy blue collar worker.
Chesapeake, VA