Managing Your Online Presence During the Pandemic

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Quite a few industries and business sectors around the world have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Some sectors have been able to take advantage of all their hardware, software, and connectivity tools in order to continue to do business in the way that public health professionals recommend for everyone: At home, within a social bubble, and minimizing social contact as much as possible.

Leveraging personal computing and connectivity to work from home has not been a smooth ride for everyone. Even some of the most tech-savvy individuals, the kind who enjoy collecting the latest gadgets and apps, have realized that full-time remote work is not exactly what they expected. If you are used to occasionally sending emails from home or participating in Skype conferences from time to time, working full shifts in this fashion will be a challenge. On the flip side of that coin are freelancers and field employees who are used to working from home or on a remote capacity; these are the professionals who can teach the rest of us to adjust to this new reality.

One thing we have learned from professionals who are used to telecommuting is the need to maintain an adequate internet presence. You may have noticed how many Twitter users have changed their profile pictures with photos that show them wearing a surgical mask or a cloth face covering. While this is mostly done for the purpose of solidarity and to encourage others to follow measures to mitigate contagion, there is a strong underlying idea to keeping online profiles up-to-date.

As you can see from this Crunchbase example, activity has been updated to reflect recent news stories, Twitter posts, and LinkedIn updates; this is a simple and effective way to refresh online profiles. Since more people are meeting online in lieu of doing so in person, there is a greater chance that they will query your online profiles; to this effect, you should not forget about search engine optimization since more users will begin their queries on Google. Placing strategic SEO keywords and key phrases within the narrative section of internet profiles can help the Google crawler understand why they should be listed higher on the search engine results page.

Aside from your online profiles, you should not forget about your personal appearance when participating in video conferences. Whenever possible, connect your personal computing devices over Ethernet cables instead of relying on Wi-Fi connections; this would not only increase connectivity but also the security of communications. Keep in mind that you should be looking directly at the camera lens when speaking to those who are involved in the conference. We often make the mistake of looking at whatever is being displayed on our screens; this is a natural reaction in a Zoom meeting because we are used to seeking the eyes of those whom we meet with in real life. In the case of teleconferences, we should get used to the idea of the camera lens being the eyes of others.