Introducing the new and improved mrbrenlea

Take control of your brand.

Over the past several years I have been thinking about my online presence and how best to help cultivate it.  However, I had no idea where to begin or what strategies to use.  All I knew was that I needed to have a web site somewhere with my work history and some pictures.  I had dabbled a few times with creating them but nothing has really stuck with me.  Over the past three months, there have been many different lessons. The two that struck me the most were the importance of controlling my presence and consistency.

Your online presence is incredibly important and can have both positive and negative consequences.  If you are the one putting information out about yourself then you are in control. If you sit back and don’t put out information, then you run the risk of others putting out information about you.  The information that others put out may or may not be positive.

Over the years I have registered for all manner of sites, using a variety of different handles.  None really stuck.  BrendanLea is usually taken, Blea sounds like pee (this will not work with elementary students), LeaBrendan confuses people, and BrendanCIS limits me.  All of the handles exist on various sites that I have used.  This not only makes it hard for me to remember but makes it almost impossible for others to find me online.  After many years, I seem to have settled for the username mrbrenlea.  Why?  It’s easy for me to remember and it’s unique, which means I’m almost always guaranteed to get it.

My mrbrenlea image.

In a sense I have begun my product branding in earnest.  As I read the blog Personal Branding 101, I realized that I have a long way to go.  I do have a web site that contains all my professional information (resumes, education, video, links to other online spaces) but there is still work to be done.  I have also started to switch over my old site handles to mrbrenlea.  These handles will then be added to my web site to make it easier to access.  I also decided on an image for myself.  Finally I have chosen an image for myself that I feel captures the essence of me.

Why am I doing all this and why will I continue?  It is kind of fun and addicting to create a profile that others can see and I’m learning a lot about web site design.  I want my learning and my experiences to go beyond the classroom.  However, to do this I need to make connections.  In order for these connections to work properly, then I need to make it easy for people to find me.

I know there is a long way for me to go in developing my online presence, however, I do feel as though I am off to a very good start.  My hope is that my mark will identify me as a fun loving professional who continues to grow and cares deeply about teaching and his students.

Image Credits:

Against Social Control by Jaume d’Urgell, found on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed

mrbrenlea by Brendan Lea, Personal Photo



Filed under Course 2

4 responses to “Introducing the new and improved mrbrenlea

  1. Hi Brendan
    A few months ago, I was considering registering my own domain and setting up my own professional website. But when I gave the idea more thought, I realised that the website, for the most part, would just be a directory – sending people off to my blog or Flickr account or what have you. I’m now leaning towards the idea of creating a new page on my blog for linking people to my other accounts. I’m wondering whether your professional website is/will be more than a directory?

    • Right now my site is more of a directory to guide people to my various online spaces and to check out my resume. However, as I continue to evolve I will more than likely continue to add more things to it like resources people can use, reviews of programs I’ve used in class, etc. Thus hopefully taking it beyond more than just a site. Will this take time? Yes, but I think it will also be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.

      So far I’ve gotten a few people hooked on Weebly. Which I like as a site creator but for blogging I’d still stick with WordPress.

  2. Hi brendan,
    I like your blog. It suits you. It is kind and enthusiastic and sincere. You don’t try to be someone else. This is a good example for the kids you are teaching. I din’t think about having a blog before Coetail, so I was interested about what you write about your picture (the pictures I used for me on social sites are dreadful!). About your name, I always prefer names that are related with what people are doing like ” E-Learning Journeys by Julie Lindsay”. It is better than remembering the name, which I still do, eventually. You can brain storm with your friends bout this. Thank you for the nice time I had reading your blog.

  3. Well done Brendan! I think you are well on your way to creating a clear and consistent digital presence which will allow people to find and connect with you. It’s clear that you understand the purpose of these kind of spaces and you have a vision for continuing to grow your cohesive and interconnected digital profile. Looking forward to seeing how things develop!

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