June 17, 2009 by Erica Benton

Well, the estimated date of Twitpocalypse has come and gone. Some of us are left wondering, what would we have done if it wasn’t only certain third-party Twitter clients affected… What would have happened if the entire Twitterverse imploded? What could we accomplish if we were forced to reclaim minutes that are otherwise spent twittering?

Maintain your online reputation

Sure, with Twitter gone you can’t update your followers about that awesome blog you’ve been reading, but you can take a few minutes to make sure those looking for you online are actually finding the real you. Try Googling your name in quotation marks to see what comes up – those with unique names should only find things that directly connect to your real online activities. Got a more common name? Change your online profiles to include a middle initial to help you stand out from the crowd. Finding something that you’d rather not have public? You’ll need to contact the owners of that site to ask that they remove it.

While it may not seem important, potential employers have been known to search the Internet for potential warning flags before hiring. That picture of you dancing on the table at the holiday party last year? Warning flag! This quick search could save your job prospects and your online reputation.

Build your portfolio

You’ve done a lot of excellent work recently, but the last job detailed in your portfolio was from 2005. It’s time to beef it up with some of your more recent fantastic jobs. On the same note, make sure that your portfolio contains plenty of background information about each job and a URL to the work itself (if available) to round out the description and give buyers plenty to reference when considering you for work.


Unless you’re a professional blogger, blogging always seems to fall to the bottom of the priority list. But your blog can give buyers a better idea of your writing skills, as well as giving a stronger sense of your interests, hobbies, and personality than your resume can ever show on its own. Take a few moments to look back over your past blog posts to make sure you’re staying on topic and showcasing your talents to the best of your abilities. Then, tackle a new blog post and commit to getting it written, edited, and posted by the end of the week!

Don’t have a blog? Look at your industry and decide if one would be a boon to your business. Will having a nicely-written, regularly updated blog benefit your work and highlight your talents? If so, plan out your first few blog posts, set up a schedule that fits your availability, and post regularly!


Link Building
Check all of your online content and make sure that each one links back to your profile. For example, if your blog is updated often with witty, engaging commentary on your industry, make sure you’re linking to it every chance you get – on your resume, in your cover letters, on your oDesk profile, etc. Likewise, make sure your blog has links back to your oDesk profile, your Twitter account, and your online portfolio. Connecting the dots online will showcase your work while making it easier for potential employers to find you!

Update your network

Take a quick peek through your emails and make sure you have complete contact information for everyone you’ve had recent conversations with. Then scroll through your address book and pen a note or two to the folks you haven’t touched base with in a while. You never can tell who might know someone needing your particular skillset, and sometimes a brief email is all it takes to bring you to the top of their list for consideration!

    outdoor work

Get Outdoors

Sometimes, a scenery shift is a refreshing change that can reinvigorate your work routine. Don’t just watch the sunshine from your desk, take your work outside for a bit. Tethered to a power cord? A quick walk outdoors can have the same mood-boosting effect, and can give you a fresh perspective on your work when you return!


I’m serious. Certain types of play can boost your brainpower and kickstart the creative juices – just what the doctor ordered for long stretches at the keyboard! Pick a game that will strengthen your mind: word games increase vocabulary skills, sudoku betters problem-solving ability, memory games improve, well, memory!  A personal favorite game to play in just a few minutes is FreeRice.com – a vocabulary word game that donates grains of rice to help end world hunger. I hone my word skills while helping others – a great way to improve myself in just a few minutes!

What do you do when the Fail Whale strikes?

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more