I have never written an end of the year blog entry before. Actually, before this year, I never thought I would author a blog, let alone more than one! So, I looked at a few examples to find some inspiration. I especially liked how Will Strohl quoted Brad Pitt from the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith:
“I guess when you start thinking about the end, you think about the beginning.”
I began www.KeithPetri.com on February 10th, 2010 with an entry titled, “New Year, New Me, Social Brand”. As I clearly stated, my new year’s resolution in 2010 was to develop my name into a brand of its own. Reflecting on my progress, I would have to say that I successfully reached my goal.
A simple Google query on “Keith Petri” returns 18,300 results; of which the first 4 pages are dedicated to me – not to say that there aren’t results about myself found after the fourth page.
My blog has seen three separate iterations in the past year. Starting as a WordPress hosted site, it is now a completely customized, self-hosted database of information. Comprised of a mere 8 pages and a substantial blog (nearly 130 self-published posts in a year), Keith Petri’s Space has something for everyone.
My writing has transformed from that of a wandering college student to a focused young professional with aspirations to succeed in the new age of digital media. While some posts remain quite personal and receive minimal traffic, others are more provocative and inspire comments, retweets and trackbacks.
In addition to my introduction to blogging, I also became highly involved with Twitter during 2010. After opening my account I was immediately overwhelmed with the service’s ability to virally spread content while simultaneously allowing for one-on-one conversations. However, as my number of followers increased I felt as though the value became diluted and my message lost in the virtual world. It is my hope to once again find Twitter’s value in 2011.
I began to focus my studies on social media and communication midway through my senior year at Skidmore College. After a few months of participating in this growing space I graduated (May 2010). It wasn’t until after graduation that I became immersed in the field.
Prior to graduation I periodically blogged, tweeted irregularly (depending on my course load), rarely participated on LinkedIn discussions and never explored new social media tools. However, post-graduation I was able to focus my studies on new tools and upcoming technologies. This is when I allowed my passion for marketing, technology and entrepreneurship to bud a new business focused on social media, networking and achieving lifelong success.
eBranding Me focuses on educating Generation Y students on how to act in a socially responsible manner online. It informs them on how to protect their reputations on the Internet and build a positive presence to successfully enroll in the college of their choice or secure gainful employment post-graduation.
In one of my first blog posts, A Need to Educate Students on E-Safety, I wrote, “In reality, online activity is quite public and permanent. The line between public and private used to be clear, became blurred, and is now non-existent.” It is unfortunate that a third-party educator is needed to teach these values to entry-level workers and current students, but I am happy to fill the void.
2010 was a year of change, learning and growth. I can only hope to continue on my path towards a brighter future with more experiences, fewer missed opportunities and a larger, stronger network.