A digital footprint is the electronic evidence of a computer user’s activity (online, on the hard-drive etc.). These “footprints” can be left by simply joining a website, posting to blogs, releasing any personal information online, or even just connecting to the internet. In some cases, other internet users may create digital footprints of you by releasing your information or posing as you. Users are learning more and more about this concept and have come to realize that they might be able to Google themselves and find their digital footprints. ip address info . On a more serious note, users must be careful not to leave such a footprint that they might become the target of a sinister activity like stalking.(http://newmedia.wikia.com/wiki/Digital_Footprint)
Ways to leave your Digital Footprint
- Social Networking – Twitter, WordPress, MySpace, Facebook etc.
- Looking at websites, requesting RSS feeds, Email updates etc.
- Purchasing items online – Ebay for example
Why is having a Digital Footprint so important?
Are looking to become a web designer? Are you selling media and solutions to the industry without actually being part of it yourself? How can you sell or design on behalf of a client without knowing what’s hot and what’s not, what works and what doesn’t? In my opinion it’s like managing a football team having never played the game before; it’s just not credible!
Last year I met with Codegent , a small digital agency based in London. They generally only employ a designer once or twice a year, so it’s essential they find people who are digital savvy. Their Creative Director said he would Google everyone before interviewing them to find out what their “Digital Footprint” was like. Designers and Developers have to be involved in multiple social networking sites and platforms, or at least have an opinion. If you don’t regularly read blogs, have a social networking account, buy things from websites, or watch TV on your computer, how are you supposed to know what is good and what isn’t? It’s knowing these things that will help you design for future projects and help the digital world continue to progress and move forward.
User experience, advertising and content usage are subjects you’ll be aware of when heavily involved in the digital world. Some of you might be bigger mobile users. Some might be heavier interactive kiosk users and some might only experience the World Wide Web through their computer. Either way you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t, which in turn will help you when brainstorming or helping pitch ideas for your next project.
My advice would be to try and set yourself small targets when creating a presence online for yourself – see what works best for you and reflects your digital personality!