“Personal Branding” vs. Inkblurt

Chris Brogan has a great post about 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media, with some helpful tips on creating that thing we keep hearing about “the Personal Brand.”

I’ve always struggled with this, though. I’ve been doing this “blogging” thing a long time. In fact, my first “home page” was a text-only index file. Why? Because there weren’t any graphical Web browsers yet. And even once there were, the only people who were online to look at any such thing were net-heads like myself. There was already a sense of informality and mutual understanding, and “netizens” seemed to prize a level of authenticity above almost anything else. Anything that looked like a personal “brand” was suspect.

cattlebrand.jpg

So, something about the DNA of my initial forays into personal expression on the ‘net has stuck with me. Namely, that it’s my little corner of the world, where I say what’s on my mind, take it or leave it, with very little concern about my brand or what-not. I am not saying this is a good thing. It just is.

Over the years, though, I’ve become more conscious of the shift in context. It’s like I had a little corner lot in a small town, with a ramshackle house and flotsam in the yard, and ten years later I look out to see somebody developed a new subdivision around me, with McMansions, chemically enhanced lawns, and joggers wearing those special clothes that you only wear if you’re really *into* jogging. You know what I mean.

And now I’m just not sure where my blog stands in all this. I don’t keep up with it often, but if I do it’s not because I’ve set a goal for myself, it’s just because my brainfartery is more active (and long-form) than usual. I feel the need to have a more polished, disciplined blog-presence, with all the right trimmings … but then I’d miss having this thing here. And I know for a fact that if I had both, I’d be so short-circuited about which I should post on, I’d end up doing nothing with either of them.

Or maybe I’m just lazy?

Note: One of Brogan’s awesome tips is to add some visual interest with each post; hence a CC licensed image from mharrsch.

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  • http://www.kirabug.com kirabug

    Huh. This seemed pretty polished to me. But maybe that’s because because my blog is even more backwater and rural than this location ;)

    As for me, I write what interests me at the time. It’s honest, it’s easy to do, and it keeps my (tiny) audience on its toes.

  • http://thinkingandmaking.com Austin

    The problem with “branding” is it’s like “growth”. Everyone assumes it’s a good thing to do all the time everywhere you can.

    His ideas are pretty good though, especially on brevity.

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