One of the best compliments I’ve received lately came from someone I had never met face to face; it came from the administrator of an online talent community. The compliment: I — Edward M. Bury — had a “great digital footprint.”
Didn’t know there was such a thing as a digital footprint, but I knew how I cultivated my online presence. It was by diligently and effectively maintaining my profile and staying active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites. You also can find my profile on BrightFuse.com, an online talent community where I network and blog. And, of course, my footprint keeps expanding through this blog under the PRDude moniker, a forum for my thoughts on public relations-related topics and my search for that next great job in the industry.
Drop my middle initial, and you’ll learn that there is “another” Edward Bury. This guy didn’t work in PR; he was a British iron foundry owner, locomotive manufacturer and entrepreneur who lived from 1794 to 1858.
Read more about Mr. Bury’s life and times, and you’ll learn this guy from England’s industrial north was a true visionary who played a key role in the Industrial Revolution. He had a tremendously successful life, and he racked up lots of awards from the British crown as a result. Frankly, he accomplished a lot more in his 64 years on this planet than I have; but I’m not done yet.
Here’s another twist to this discussion. There’s a town in English county of Suffolk called Bury St. Edmunds. It’s an historic place where the Romans once hung out, and it’s home to one of England’s largest independent breweries. (I’m of Polish extraction, so I doubt I have any direct relatives there; but I do like my beer.)
I don’t know if Mr. Bury had a middle name or if it was Matthew, like mine; but I’m sure glad he didn’t.
Given this gentleman’s role in shaping the world as we know it — building locomotives, the first form of land-based mass transportation, and being a cog in the Industrial Revolution, which started in the UK — his digital footprint would surely surpass mine had he added the “M” to his name. Well, perhaps.
I can continue to grow my footprint; Mr. Bury — the English one — is not around to grow his. It’s somewhat interesting and certainly ironic that in today’s increasingly digital world, Edward M. Bury, APR, a public relations guy from Chicago, has a larger digital footprint than Edward Bury, a man who helped usher in one of the greatest socioeconomic movements of our time.
With lots of confidence, I maintain Mr. Bury is not too concerned about his place in history.