End of Year Maintenance: 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of teaching that starts after the New Year. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. 16 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

For regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

Today: 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

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For most teachers I know, life zooms by, filled with lesson planning, teaching, meeting with grade-level teams, chatting with parents, attending conferences (to stay UTD), and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

That includes your online presence and all those personal profiles. But, that must happen or they no longer accomplish what we need. If they aren’t updated, we are left wondering why our blog isn’t getting visitors, why our social media Tweeple don’t generate activity, and why you aren’t being contacted for networking. Here’s a short list of items that won’t take long to accomplish:

  1. Update your online profile–your blog profile page, your gravatar, FB, Twitter, professional groups, your PLN. Have you changed your focus? Switched jobs? Adding new publications or items efriends would like to know about? Is your contact information current? This, btw, should be done once a quarter, but at least at the new year.
  2. Clean up your FB stream–delete pictures and comments you no longer find as funny as when you first posted them or make them private. FB has become a common resource for future employers when they research your background. Make sure the YOU that shows up is really YOU.
  3. Update grammar and spelling in old posts–start with the most-visited articles (under Site Stats) and work your way down (in case you run out of time). You’ll be surprised what you can catch with a fresh eye.
  4. Check individual post tags and categories–whittle down the options while still authentically grouping your writing. Sometimes, you’ll find a new category that can include many articles written prior to its addition.
  5. Check the sidebar–for out-of-date and no-longer-relevant widgets and links. Include new pieces that add utility. Move pieces around to give a fresh look. Current thinking is ‘less is more’. Considering putting awards, PLN groups, memberships on separate pages noted in the menu bar.
  6. Check your list of ‘pages‘–are they still relevant? Could some be nested under other pages to save room and/or make them easier to find? While you’re at it, be sure all of these less-visited pages are up to date.
  7. Check the appearance of your blog on a smartphone and iPad. Does it display properly? If not, consider switching to a responsive theme that auto-adjusts for a variety of digital devices.
  8. Make sure everything posted reflects you. Your personal brand may change year-to-year. Review your posts, images, videos, and everything to ensure that they support the profile you are putting out there for readers.
  9. Make sure all online presence sites are current. Have something that shows it’s recently updated (within the last week). If it looks like no one updates it, visitors will not return a second time. This means recent blog posts, feed activity, and information on all social media, blogs, and websites.
  10. Unsubscribe from lists you no longer have an interest in. This is less about updating your online presence and more about freeing up your time!
  11. If you’re a teacher-author, update the stores where you sell your books. This includes your Amazon Author page, Teachers Pay Teachers, BarnesandNoble.com, and any others–prices, descriptions, categories, freebies. I need to do this more often.

Do you have any maintenance issues to suggest for the new year? I’d love to hear them.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.
Categories: blogging, Digital Citizenship, teacher resources | Tags: ,

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