Welcome to a new resource for better living, at home and at work. We’ll be posting exciting NEW articles, videos, interviews and more, but to get things rolling, we’re selecting some of the best columns from our beta business networking site.

Let’s start with tips about managing your online data. While this was first published in September, 2012, it is very good advice for the New Year!

It does not matter if you’re pursuing a globe-trotting career or building a hyper-local business  – it’s really important to understand why you need to actively take charge of managing your data.

Because the internet is one of the key ways people are searching, investigating and making buying and hiring decisions. Whether your personal geographic footprint is 10 miles or 10,000 miles – it’s up to you to place as much timely, smart, geo-targeted, self-authored content in a variety of online spaces as possible. Why? Because:

A. the more strategic content you place online, the more you can organically improve your search results.

B. you are the best person to communicate your best assets and expertise, so people find exactly what you want them to find out about you, your work experience, your business, your products or services.

And while your to-do list may seem totally overwhelming, taking the time to curate and nurture your digital data can greatly enhance your chances of success. By taking the time to schedule monthly audits of your online profiles and posts, you can also deal with any potentially embarrassing content that can short circuit your career or business goals.

So here’s your homework.
Get your work credentials, skill sets, internships, objectives, testimonials, etc. up to date in a variety of quality, high-traffic spaces.

Start a blog. Choose one social media channel and use it – for research, news, and to update the world (or your local book club) about your doings, events, challenges, etc.

Update all your public profiles regularly, to reflect your latest doings and accomplishments using strategic, search engine optimized and geo-targeted language. For example, if you are a female interior designer in the UK, make sure to insert your specific service areas in the first sentence of your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other profiles/boards.

Sample smart, SEO friendly geo-targeted blurb:

“I’m based in London, but I have done residential and commercial interior design projects as far north as Manchester, and I have served several special clients in Chichester as well.”

Google yourself and the name of your business often – it’s important to know what’s floating around on the net about you or your business. This way you can quickly address any issues.

Yes, being successful today still requires building strong relationships.  By carefully managing your personal and work-related online data (in effect becoming your own PR machine), you can increase your options and opportunities; allowing online and mobile surfers to stumble upon the best information about you. Comfort engenders dialogue and knowledge is exchanged. In this way a budding business relationship has the opportunity to bloom.

So, please do yourself a huge favor. Make sure you shine. Leverage the power of a variety of online platforms to serve your own specific purposes – whether you are seeking new career opportunities hyper-locally or internationally. Start planting smart, geo- and search-engine optimized self-authored content in as many quality online spaces as you can.