Who's telling you the truth about your online personal marketing?
Yes, it's true. People judge you.
They judge you especially harshly online.
They judge you by your teeny picture on Facebook (named, after all, after the original quick judgment document) and they judge you by your email sig file and your domain (Hotmail?!) and by the look of your bio on Squidoo or Linkedin or the number of typos in your instant messages. They even judge you by the typeface and ads on your blog.
So, are you getting good feedback on your brand presentation?
Would it hurt your feelings if I told you that your picture made you look dumpy? Or that it was boring? Or way too outre?
It seems like it's better to hear this from a few trusted people than to continue to stumble without knowing why.
I'm not proposing that you let the crowd dictate, or that you work hard to fit in. Far from it. I'm proposing that you know the impact your choices are having and act accordingly.
Pictures are the easiest. Post three or four and let trusted people vote (and tell you why). Don't pick the winner, but read their reasons. And yes, if connecting online is important to you, go ahead and spend a few dollars and get a good photo.
This isn't about ignorance as much as it involves effort. Once you pay attention to this, it'll get better.