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Building Your Online Brand With Social Media Tools

Social Media tools have an enormous power to put you in contact with thousands of people. As I have said on numerous occasions though, attention on its own is useless, what are you going to do with that attention?

If you want to build your online brand you have to know how all your activities work together. You need a consistency and congruency. Each part of the social media puzzle builds into a picture people have of you, how they imagine you to be relates to how you really are to the degree you get this stuff right.

If you are approaching social media in a haphazard way, do not be surprised if things do not work out exactly as you hoped or imagined they would.

You Choose Who You Are

We are judged by what we say, how we say it and who we associate with. All choices we make, not things that happen to us by chance.

If you are constantly being seen with the snarky, attacking, abusive people on Twitter, then you will be seen as in their gang. When your pictures often appear in the saucier flickr groups then that is the impression people will have of you, regardless of your PHD in nuclear physics. We do not get the whole picture online, we see what is right in front of us, and that means we will jump to conclusions and you will be guilty until proven innocent.

Since Michael wrote about what your social media activities say about you I have been thinking about this a lot. Having been online for a long time, there is not much I can do to claw back what is out there. I haven’t exactly played fast and loose with my online reputation, but then I have not been too sophisticated with it either.

I have clients from all sorts of industries and walks of life. Who my clients are have been used to attack me in the past. Should I with this in mind be revealing my clients through StumbleUpon votes?

Best to choose now who you are, what your values are, and where you draw the line between openness and TMI (too much information). Thankfully I clued up about 10 years ago some things I would never write about, but still there are aspects of my life I think really ought to have been kept private.

Joining the Social Media Dots

The best way to approach social media is to choose your venues and connect them in some way to your blog. Keep your blog as the main representation of “you” online. That is where you best stuff is going to be, your archive, portfolio or resume. If someone Googles you, this is what you want to appear, not your virtual facebook sheep or your drunken accidental flickr pics.

Building your brand with social meda

With a good core blog, you can further reinforce this positive brand. Have conversations on Twitter, share your pictures, guest post and comment. Participate in forums that relate to what you do and your audience. Above all where you want connections to be made, use a consistent avatar, nickname and style. Connect all the profiles back to your blog, and where appropriate link out to the social media sites.

As you can see, I link to my Twitter account from here and occasionally will link to my Flickr through my pictures. While this helps grow my connections on those services it does mean that I have to use privacy settings on Flickr and on Twitter I need to be aware of what I am saying!

Are you conscious about the brand you are building in social media sites or do you just try to be yourself and let people take away what they will? Do you connect your online activities or are they in silos? Please share your thoughts in the comments …

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Comments

  1. I have built my online presence very carefully, knowing from the beginning that things that go online never go away. I believe that it has helped build my brand in a positive way.

    I am using new things (new for me) like Twitter and Utterz to keep in touch with, and strengthen new associations. I believe that they also have uses that we have not discovered yet.

  2. I have built my online presence very carefully, knowing from the beginning that things that go online never go away. I believe that it has helped build my brand in a positive way.

    I am using new things (new for me) like Twitter and Utterz to keep in touch with, and strengthen new associations. I believe that they also have uses that we have not discovered yet.

  3. Been giving this a lot of thought myself recently, especially as one of my oldest “nicknames” isn’t very conducive to business ;)

  4. Been giving this a lot of thought myself recently, especially as one of my oldest “nicknames” isn’t very conducive to business ;)

  5. A timely post! I run around the internet wearing two very different hats – it just sort of ‘happened that way’ – and lately have been struggling to think of a way to bring both together into some kind of cohesive identity. What you say makes great sense, and setting up a ‘portfolio’ blog might very well resolve the dilemma. Must think about how best to do that… Thanks for the pointer!

  6. A timely post! I run around the internet wearing two very different hats – it just sort of ‘happened that way’ – and lately have been struggling to think of a way to bring both together into some kind of cohesive identity. What you say makes great sense, and setting up a ‘portfolio’ blog might very well resolve the dilemma. Must think about how best to do that… Thanks for the pointer!

  7. Thanks for the article, Chris! I came to it via twitter. I am in the phase of experimenting with twitter – I am writing a photoblog and using my flickr account. I can imagine how to use twitter to built my Online Brand, but until now I’ve got no idea how to use stumbleupon (sorry for that stupid question, but there I am a total newbie). It would be great if you could dwell a bit upon stumbleupon as a tool to built an Online Brand. Thanks in advance!
    (english is not my native language, so please excuse my use of it)

  8. Thanks for the article, Chris! I came to it via twitter. I am in the phase of experimenting with twitter – I am writing a photoblog and using my flickr account. I can imagine how to use twitter to built my Online Brand, but until now I’ve got no idea how to use stumbleupon (sorry for that stupid question, but there I am a total newbie). It would be great if you could dwell a bit upon stumbleupon as a tool to built an Online Brand. Thanks in advance!
    (english is not my native language, so please excuse my use of it)

  9. I think this is great advice. I have three blogs that are distinct, and it has taken me a while to come to a concrete decision/understanding about how to represent them through Twitter, Facebook, etc. while maintaining one social media face. Some people know me for one topic, and some for another. I’ve decided that it’s better to brand “me” than it is to brand my blogs, per se, since focusing only on branding each blog reinforces them as silos. Social media has encouraged me to reel it all in and think critically about my personal brand and how I can use that to attract and build my audiences. It requires one to be both the doer and the observer.

  10. I think this is great advice. I have three blogs that are distinct, and it has taken me a while to come to a concrete decision/understanding about how to represent them through Twitter, Facebook, etc. while maintaining one social media face. Some people know me for one topic, and some for another. I’ve decided that it’s better to brand “me” than it is to brand my blogs, per se, since focusing only on branding each blog reinforces them as silos. Social media has encouraged me to reel it all in and think critically about my personal brand and how I can use that to attract and build my audiences. It requires one to be both the doer and the observer.

  11. Great post, thanks. Since I first created an online profile (on MySpace) I viewed it as an advertisement, as a way to build the “Roger Harris” brand. However, it’s hard to disentangle personal activity (which you’d rather not share with everyone) from business-related (brand-building) activity. This is where consolidation tools come in. Recent moves by Google, MySpace and Facebook testify to the strong pressure for consolidation, a necessity that I blogged about several weeks ago. From Google, we have “Friend Connect,” whereas MySpace will offer “Data Availability” and Facebook will roll out “Facebook Connect.” These tools will, hopefully, streamline and simplify the task of building your online brand with social media tools.

  12. Great post, thanks. Since I first created an online profile (on MySpace) I viewed it as an advertisement, as a way to build the “Roger Harris” brand. However, it’s hard to disentangle personal activity (which you’d rather not share with everyone) from business-related (brand-building) activity. This is where consolidation tools come in. Recent moves by Google, MySpace and Facebook testify to the strong pressure for consolidation, a necessity that I blogged about several weeks ago. From Google, we have “Friend Connect,” whereas MySpace will offer “Data Availability” and Facebook will roll out “Facebook Connect.” These tools will, hopefully, streamline and simplify the task of building your online brand with social media tools.

  13. I think you’re right on the money Chris. Since pretty much everything you do online can be traced, it’s even more crucial to be aware of the trail you leave behind wherever you go.

    But if I understand you correctly what you’re saying is that your blog becomes the nexus of you online presence, your online brand. Right? Well, what if you’ve split you interests amongst different blogs – say a gaming blog, a professional blog and a personal one. Which blog becomes the center piece of your online brand? All of them? Equally?

    And here’s another question: what if you’ve build your brand using a nickname (CrazyKinux), instead of your real name because it’s all too common (David Perry)? Can you still have the same impact? Have I still got an online brand?

    I do know the answers to some of these questions -or else I would not have invested all this time building CrazyKinux as my online brand. Nevertheless, I’m very curious to know what others think, including you Chris.

    Thanks for another great post by the way!

    David “CrazyKinux” Perry

  14. I think you’re right on the money Chris. Since pretty much everything you do online can be traced, it’s even more crucial to be aware of the trail you leave behind wherever you go.

    But if I understand you correctly what you’re saying is that your blog becomes the nexus of you online presence, your online brand. Right? Well, what if you’ve split you interests amongst different blogs – say a gaming blog, a professional blog and a personal one. Which blog becomes the center piece of your online brand? All of them? Equally?

    And here’s another question: what if you’ve build your brand using a nickname (CrazyKinux), instead of your real name because it’s all too common (David Perry)? Can you still have the same impact? Have I still got an online brand?

    I do know the answers to some of these questions -or else I would not have invested all this time building CrazyKinux as my online brand. Nevertheless, I’m very curious to know what others think, including you Chris.

    Thanks for another great post by the way!

    David “CrazyKinux” Perry

  15. Whether we like it or not – hey, whether we even know it or not – we’re all building a reputation/brand online every day. The strength and effectiveness of that reputation/brand depends in large part on how we use social media tools. You’re right, Chris.

  16. Whether we like it or not – hey, whether we even know it or not – we’re all building a reputation/brand online every day. The strength and effectiveness of that reputation/brand depends in large part on how we use social media tools. You’re right, Chris.

  17. When I first started in Social Media I didn’t know where I was going. I’m still not sure but now that a few people recognize me out in the wild I am even more conscious of my online image than before.

    So far I have managed to keep my private life private but in order to network on a deeper level I have realized that it is necessary to reveal some of who I am as a person. That doesn’t mean I post pictures of my kids or write their names in blog posts but it does mean that I let people know that I am a Mom in addition to being a Social Media fan. It means letting people know some of my likes and dislikes, it means letting people know where I come from. “Exposing” yourself on the web can be a scary thing but it is the only way to build relationships in an online community.

  18. When I first started in Social Media I didn’t know where I was going. I’m still not sure but now that a few people recognize me out in the wild I am even more conscious of my online image than before.

    So far I have managed to keep my private life private but in order to network on a deeper level I have realized that it is necessary to reveal some of who I am as a person. That doesn’t mean I post pictures of my kids or write their names in blog posts but it does mean that I let people know that I am a Mom in addition to being a Social Media fan. It means letting people know some of my likes and dislikes, it means letting people know where I come from. “Exposing” yourself on the web can be a scary thing but it is the only way to build relationships in an online community.

  19. My entrance into social media was really an off shoot of my freelance writer side job. I was writing a monthly article on technology. That lead to writing for other magazines and websites.
    My Facebook account came about as a way to communicate with my son who was at the University of Oregon at the time. My blog started out as just an electonic journel to record my thoughts. It has turned into more than that but not by some great plan…..it just happened.
    So I sort of backed into the social media world and I still have a totally verticle learning curve. I’m still trying to figure it all out and what am I going to do with it when I figure it out…i.e. Twitter, Stumbleupon….

    Chris as always thanks for your work.

  20. My entrance into social media was really an off shoot of my freelance writer side job. I was writing a monthly article on technology. That lead to writing for other magazines and websites.
    My Facebook account came about as a way to communicate with my son who was at the University of Oregon at the time. My blog started out as just an electonic journel to record my thoughts. It has turned into more than that but not by some great plan…..it just happened.
    So I sort of backed into the social media world and I still have a totally verticle learning curve. I’m still trying to figure it all out and what am I going to do with it when I figure it out…i.e. Twitter, Stumbleupon….

    Chris as always thanks for your work.

  21. Great point, Chris. Even though I didn’t realize it at first, this has been at the heart of my “internal soul-searching revolution” for the past six months (at least).

    I think I’m finally getting clear on how the whole package that is Me is to be best broadcasted…

    Thanks for your help with this.

  22. Great point, Chris. Even though I didn’t realize it at first, this has been at the heart of my “internal soul-searching revolution” for the past six months (at least).

    I think I’m finally getting clear on how the whole package that is Me is to be best broadcasted…

    Thanks for your help with this.

  23. Sound advice Chris, and I’d agree that your blog is your core or central point, with other things pointing to and flowing into (and out of) that.

    As many of us have more than one blog (the point above) I think there still needs to be one blog that’s the most powerful representation of you and your values, the place you most want people to associate with you online.

    I know it doesn’t agree with everyone but using your name and the same avatar everywhere also makes it much easier for folk to follow, spot and recognise you.

    Finally, on branding, I tend to think more of my core purpose (to help people realise the power of the words) rather than my brand (though maybe it’s the same thing, just different words) I then do a spot check from time to time as to how the things I’m doing reflect or support that.

    Twitter contains a lot more personal stuff, but I do try and have at least some links and thoughts each day on writing. Stumbleupon I focus on stumbling posts that have good writing advice. Flickr I use mainly for a sense of place. I don’t post pics of people there (other than from public events like sobcon) and if I did, I’d make them private too, to keep the distinction between what’s public and what’s not for sharing.

    Joanna

  24. Sound advice Chris, and I’d agree that your blog is your core or central point, with other things pointing to and flowing into (and out of) that.

    As many of us have more than one blog (the point above) I think there still needs to be one blog that’s the most powerful representation of you and your values, the place you most want people to associate with you online.

    I know it doesn’t agree with everyone but using your name and the same avatar everywhere also makes it much easier for folk to follow, spot and recognise you.

    Finally, on branding, I tend to think more of my core purpose (to help people realise the power of the words) rather than my brand (though maybe it’s the same thing, just different words) I then do a spot check from time to time as to how the things I’m doing reflect or support that.

    Twitter contains a lot more personal stuff, but I do try and have at least some links and thoughts each day on writing. Stumbleupon I focus on stumbling posts that have good writing advice. Flickr I use mainly for a sense of place. I don’t post pics of people there (other than from public events like sobcon) and if I did, I’d make them private too, to keep the distinction between what’s public and what’s not for sharing.

    Joanna

  25. The other thing I meant to say – don’t forget your clients and employers might be reading what you write.

    I never, ever, say anything negative about anyone I’m working with, even anonymously.

    I’m often baffled by people on Twitter who talk about clients who are bugging them, contracts that are irritating them, meetings that are boring them, phone calls that are so dull that they need to tweet at the same time.

    Doesn’t it ever occur to them that the other person might be quietly listening?

    Joanna

  26. The other thing I meant to say – don’t forget your clients and employers might be reading what you write.

    I never, ever, say anything negative about anyone I’m working with, even anonymously.

    I’m often baffled by people on Twitter who talk about clients who are bugging them, contracts that are irritating them, meetings that are boring them, phone calls that are so dull that they need to tweet at the same time.

    Doesn’t it ever occur to them that the other person might be quietly listening?

    Joanna

  27. I wish one had had this kind of sense years ago. Not that things are irreparably damaged. But thinking before recklessly roaming the wild wild web helps.

  28. I wish one had had this kind of sense years ago. Not that things are irreparably damaged. But thinking before recklessly roaming the wild wild web helps.

  29. There are some great points about you being your brand. As somewhat of a newcomer, I found myself with 3 hats. I had one brand as my e-commerce site for home health screenings, then I had a non-profit organization I started and then my personal life. It was way too confusing to try to keep 3 different brands. I tried to keep up, but it became too cumbersome. I guess I’ll just have to settle on PharmacistMike for now.

    Thanks Again.

  30. There are some great points about you being your brand. As somewhat of a newcomer, I found myself with 3 hats. I had one brand as my e-commerce site for home health screenings, then I had a non-profit organization I started and then my personal life. It was way too confusing to try to keep 3 different brands. I tried to keep up, but it became too cumbersome. I guess I’ll just have to settle on PharmacistMike for now.

    Thanks Again.

  31. There have been a whole lot of ground rules mentioned here. The basic one being, nobody needs to know everything about me as a person on the Internet.

    On the other hand, with the increased “social” connection on the web, a certain amount of personal information is needed to give your brand a solid basis. But that can be kept to a minimum.

    I do not know you personally, but I know that you are a person who thinks things through, you question anything which may not be up to par and you don’t gossip positively or negatively. Of course my impression may be completely false, but I don’t think that is the case.

    So how do I know all this? It’s the impression I get from reading your publications and seeing what you do online.

    So yes, you can build a positive personal brand without telling the world what colour your socks are.

    Michael

  32. There have been a whole lot of ground rules mentioned here. The basic one being, nobody needs to know everything about me as a person on the Internet.

    On the other hand, with the increased “social” connection on the web, a certain amount of personal information is needed to give your brand a solid basis. But that can be kept to a minimum.

    I do not know you personally, but I know that you are a person who thinks things through, you question anything which may not be up to par and you don’t gossip positively or negatively. Of course my impression may be completely false, but I don’t think that is the case.

    So how do I know all this? It’s the impression I get from reading your publications and seeing what you do online.

    So yes, you can build a positive personal brand without telling the world what colour your socks are.

    Michael

  33. Hmm, I’m not sure that I’ve consciously developed a personal brand, rather I’ve just tried to be myself. I have a blog, a twitter presence, stumbleupon, flickr and facebook accounts, I’m an active commenter and I’ve contributed guest posts, and through each of these mediums I share my thoughts, images, perspectives etc. and I expect those I connect with to develop a sense of who I am by what content I create. Of course, I am very aware that what I contribute on the net has a longevity and the potential to be read by anyone and everyone, and so I keep that knowledge as a guideline.
    A great post, Chris. You’ve really got me thinking… again!

  34. Hmm, I’m not sure that I’ve consciously developed a personal brand, rather I’ve just tried to be myself. I have a blog, a twitter presence, stumbleupon, flickr and facebook accounts, I’m an active commenter and I’ve contributed guest posts, and through each of these mediums I share my thoughts, images, perspectives etc. and I expect those I connect with to develop a sense of who I am by what content I create. Of course, I am very aware that what I contribute on the net has a longevity and the potential to be read by anyone and everyone, and so I keep that knowledge as a guideline.
    A great post, Chris. You’ve really got me thinking… again!

  35. This is an excellent post that I will be sharing with my readers. It’s very important for small businesses, solo-professionals, and other online entrepreneurs to really get what your presenting here :-)

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  36. This is an excellent post that I will be sharing with my readers. It’s very important for small businesses, solo-professionals, and other online entrepreneurs to really get what your presenting here :-)

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  37. Sometimes I find myself forgetting I’m actually branding myself! I continue to try and make things happen over night and it’s just not happening!

    See branding takes time and you must connect the dots back to yourself, hence the brand you’re trying to develop!

    I use most of these sites so I guess I’m almost there!

    I would also suggest Entrecard it seems pretty cool if you can see past the garbage in there too!

  38. Sometimes I find myself forgetting I’m actually branding myself! I continue to try and make things happen over night and it’s just not happening!

    See branding takes time and you must connect the dots back to yourself, hence the brand you’re trying to develop!

    I use most of these sites so I guess I’m almost there!

    I would also suggest Entrecard it seems pretty cool if you can see past the garbage in there too!

  39. Chris, I wish we had more time to talk about this at sobcon, but the liveliness of the group really wasn’t conducive to a serious discussion!

    That diagram is a great illustration of how the pieces relate to each other. I do try to relate my other activities to each other somewhat. Everything is brand-conscious. I don’t always use the Remarkablogger name everywhere, but those are for cases where I purposefully wanted to have distance between an account and myself (StumbleUpon and Digg are examples).

    I’m in full agreement with Joanna above. When you’re in business, existing and future clients DO and WILL see what you are saying in social media. NEVER use Twitter as a back channel to talk about someone behind their back. Everything you say becomes a thread in the tapestry that is your online reputation.

  40. Chris, I wish we had more time to talk about this at sobcon, but the liveliness of the group really wasn’t conducive to a serious discussion!

    That diagram is a great illustration of how the pieces relate to each other. I do try to relate my other activities to each other somewhat. Everything is brand-conscious. I don’t always use the Remarkablogger name everywhere, but those are for cases where I purposefully wanted to have distance between an account and myself (StumbleUpon and Digg are examples).

    I’m in full agreement with Joanna above. When you’re in business, existing and future clients DO and WILL see what you are saying in social media. NEVER use Twitter as a back channel to talk about someone behind their back. Everything you say becomes a thread in the tapestry that is your online reputation.

  41. Excellent post. If you see my blog, MaxGladwell.com, I’ve taken a novel approach. The blog brand is its own brand. It’s not me. But it’s still a name. I’m the founder of “Max Gladwell” the brand…a branded persona, if you will. It’s a unique name that had no presence on the web (Google) before I started it. So it’s become a unique brand that people are starting to associate with social media and green living (the topic of the blog). I personally have a common name and could not have done that. Plus, Max Gladwell has a specific POV that is only part of my personal POV. Max Gladwell adheres to the principles of the brand i.e. “the nexus of social media and green living.” That’s the lens through which Max Gladwell views the world, so anyone can write on behalf of Max Gladwell so long as they use that lens.

    Participating in the social Web as a branded persona is also much more natural…so long as you’re not trying to fool anyone, and I’m not. The “About Us” page explains everything. In some ways it’s like a pseudonym but it’s more. I use Perez Hilton as an example, but it’s not entirely parallel.

    So Max Gladwell has a presence on social networks, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. because (a) it’s good marketing and (b) that’s the nature of what we write about. Social media has to be experienced on the deepest level in order to be understood, utilized, and explained. You can’t write about it from the outside as an observer. That’s one of the great things about it.

  42. Excellent post. If you see my blog, MaxGladwell.com, I’ve taken a novel approach. The blog brand is its own brand. It’s not me. But it’s still a name. I’m the founder of “Max Gladwell” the brand…a branded persona, if you will. It’s a unique name that had no presence on the web (Google) before I started it. So it’s become a unique brand that people are starting to associate with social media and green living (the topic of the blog). I personally have a common name and could not have done that. Plus, Max Gladwell has a specific POV that is only part of my personal POV. Max Gladwell adheres to the principles of the brand i.e. “the nexus of social media and green living.” That’s the lens through which Max Gladwell views the world, so anyone can write on behalf of Max Gladwell so long as they use that lens.

    Participating in the social Web as a branded persona is also much more natural…so long as you’re not trying to fool anyone, and I’m not. The “About Us” page explains everything. In some ways it’s like a pseudonym but it’s more. I use Perez Hilton as an example, but it’s not entirely parallel.

    So Max Gladwell has a presence on social networks, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. because (a) it’s good marketing and (b) that’s the nature of what we write about. Social media has to be experienced on the deepest level in order to be understood, utilized, and explained. You can’t write about it from the outside as an observer. That’s one of the great things about it.

  43. I don’t conciously build my brand through social media. But I think it kind of just happens. e.g I follow ppl like me on twitter, and read blogs that i’m proud to be accociated with..liketis one:)

  44. I don’t conciously build my brand through social media. But I think it kind of just happens. e.g I follow ppl like me on twitter, and read blogs that i’m proud to be accociated with..liketis one:)

  45. Sigh. If only you were have posted this, what, 3 years ago, i would’ve totally been in a different position now. Pity. But i guess there’s no harm starting late. Its just that i dont have much of a drive being online as much as i did 3 years ago.

  46. Sigh. If only you were have posted this, what, 3 years ago, i would’ve totally been in a different position now. Pity. But i guess there’s no harm starting late. Its just that i dont have much of a drive being online as much as i did 3 years ago.

  47. @Stephen – I really need to check utterz out, up to now I have resisted using my voice though :)

    @Marc – Nicknames are tricky but they can work, look at eMom :)

    @Jen – Thing is once you connect people will follow the trail back to find out more, so you just have to give them good stuff to look up :)

    @Ulla – StumbleUpon is both a way to discover new sites and also to bookmark things you like, you can add friends on there who see what you last stumbled, and there are discussion groups for every subject. So bookmark good stuff, make friends and write reviews :)

    @Julie – For some people silos make more sense, especially if the audiences are not just different but opposed, for others, like myself, one identity works better because being a photography hobbyist, geek and blogger is all compatible and complimentary :)

    @Roger – Yup, then the choice is which to merge and which to keep as satellites

    @Crazykinux – Sometimes using a pseudonym or nickname is a necessary self defense mechanism, sometimes it just gets in the way. I find real names, even made up, help form better bonds in early stages, but after the initial impression it is what you say and do that counts. If you have split activities you can just link them up, if you want to reveal who you are you can do it on an about page. Those who are interested will follow the crumbs.

    @Easton – Yup, I think just being conscious of it can be a big help

    @GemStar38 – Yes common ground doesn’t need to be your deepest secrets :)

    @Steve – It’s important to take things at your own pace and work out what works for you, if we remember these tools are about connecting PEOPLE then you won’t go far wrong :)

    @Adam – I look forward to seeing where you go with it, I do think you have a strong brand :)

    @Joanna – Your purpose and your brand are both a reflection of you, so I think the ideas are compatible. A brand after all is built through how people experience you and what they “know” about you, if you stick to your mission or purpose then that will be their experience :)

    @vimoh – The thing to do is from this day forward, fill the web with good stuff about you

    @PharmacistMike – Just make every connection the best it can be, make what people remember and take away the good stuff :)

    @Michael – I love that “color your socks are”, very cool and very true. Empathy and shared ground is important, but we can hold back many of the details!

    @amypalko – Being yourself is important, especially if yourself is a nice and genuine person :) One issue though with being yourself is sometimes there is not enough context when someone comes to view what you put out later, for example through the wayback machine of a 140 character message from a year ago.

    @Online Branding Expert – Thanks, I appreciate you saying so :)

    @bbrian017 – I need to look at Entrecard, I have kind of dismissed it up to now as another pyramid traffic thing but people keep telling me about it

    @Michael – Yup, good advice :) Strange thing, with Adam I always think “monk at work”, whereas with you I always think “Michael”. I think the first impression is often the strongest :)

    @Max – Pen names can work well, but I much prefer it when people use them for professional and ethical reasons, some people use them as a mask to hide behind to attack others which is a shame because it taints the whole practice.

    @Ming – Just letting it happen can be tricky when you are naturally open and honest, things leak out that might be taken out of context or brought up in the strangest of settings, on the positive side though people can see when someone is genuine so there is a benefit.

    @VeraBradley – Do you find that people assume certain things going by that name? I know one person who has a name that is male in his culture but many people take to be female, he often finds people treat him differently depending on what they assume his gender is :)

  48. @Stephen – I really need to check utterz out, up to now I have resisted using my voice though :)

    @Marc – Nicknames are tricky but they can work, look at eMom :)

    @Jen – Thing is once you connect people will follow the trail back to find out more, so you just have to give them good stuff to look up :)

    @Ulla – StumbleUpon is both a way to discover new sites and also to bookmark things you like, you can add friends on there who see what you last stumbled, and there are discussion groups for every subject. So bookmark good stuff, make friends and write reviews :)

    @Julie – For some people silos make more sense, especially if the audiences are not just different but opposed, for others, like myself, one identity works better because being a photography hobbyist, geek and blogger is all compatible and complimentary :)

    @Roger – Yup, then the choice is which to merge and which to keep as satellites

    @Crazykinux – Sometimes using a pseudonym or nickname is a necessary self defense mechanism, sometimes it just gets in the way. I find real names, even made up, help form better bonds in early stages, but after the initial impression it is what you say and do that counts. If you have split activities you can just link them up, if you want to reveal who you are you can do it on an about page. Those who are interested will follow the crumbs.

    @Easton – Yup, I think just being conscious of it can be a big help

    @GemStar38 – Yes common ground doesn’t need to be your deepest secrets :)

    @Steve – It’s important to take things at your own pace and work out what works for you, if we remember these tools are about connecting PEOPLE then you won’t go far wrong :)

    @Adam – I look forward to seeing where you go with it, I do think you have a strong brand :)

    @Joanna – Your purpose and your brand are both a reflection of you, so I think the ideas are compatible. A brand after all is built through how people experience you and what they “know” about you, if you stick to your mission or purpose then that will be their experience :)

    @vimoh – The thing to do is from this day forward, fill the web with good stuff about you

    @PharmacistMike – Just make every connection the best it can be, make what people remember and take away the good stuff :)

    @Michael – I love that “color your socks are”, very cool and very true. Empathy and shared ground is important, but we can hold back many of the details!

    @amypalko – Being yourself is important, especially if yourself is a nice and genuine person :) One issue though with being yourself is sometimes there is not enough context when someone comes to view what you put out later, for example through the wayback machine of a 140 character message from a year ago.

    @Online Branding Expert – Thanks, I appreciate you saying so :)

    @bbrian017 – I need to look at Entrecard, I have kind of dismissed it up to now as another pyramid traffic thing but people keep telling me about it

    @Michael – Yup, good advice :) Strange thing, with Adam I always think “monk at work”, whereas with you I always think “Michael”. I think the first impression is often the strongest :)

    @Max – Pen names can work well, but I much prefer it when people use them for professional and ethical reasons, some people use them as a mask to hide behind to attack others which is a shame because it taints the whole practice.

    @Ming – Just letting it happen can be tricky when you are naturally open and honest, things leak out that might be taken out of context or brought up in the strangest of settings, on the positive side though people can see when someone is genuine so there is a benefit.

    @VeraBradley – Do you find that people assume certain things going by that name? I know one person who has a name that is male in his culture but many people take to be female, he often finds people treat him differently depending on what they assume his gender is :)

  49. It’s not a pen name. That’s just a way to understand it. It’s an entirely new approach brought on by the nature of social media. I call it a branded persona. I guess Perez Hilton could be considered pioneer, though I think he takes on that persona and that’s also not the approach with Max Gladwell. Go the to the “About” section of the blog and learn all about it, including who the person/people are behind the brand. Nothing to hide, which I agree is essential in social media.

    @Max – Pen names can work well, but I much prefer it when people use them for professional and ethical reasons, some people use them as a mask to hide behind to attack others which is a shame because it taints the whole practice.

  50. It’s not a pen name. That’s just a way to understand it. It’s an entirely new approach brought on by the nature of social media. I call it a branded persona. I guess Perez Hilton could be considered pioneer, though I think he takes on that persona and that’s also not the approach with Max Gladwell. Go the to the “About” section of the blog and learn all about it, including who the person/people are behind the brand. Nothing to hide, which I agree is essential in social media.

    @Max – Pen names can work well, but I much prefer it when people use them for professional and ethical reasons, some people use them as a mask to hide behind to attack others which is a shame because it taints the whole practice.

  51. What’s that old saying, “when you’re ready, the teacher will arrive”? Or something like that. Just as I have begun thinking I need to be consistent with avatar, name, etc., along comes this article. The timing is perfect, and the message is clear. My next task: figure out my consolidation strategy.

  52. What’s that old saying, “when you’re ready, the teacher will arrive”? Or something like that. Just as I have begun thinking I need to be consistent with avatar, name, etc., along comes this article. The timing is perfect, and the message is clear. My next task: figure out my consolidation strategy.

  53. Good read you have here. And good pointers a swell. I’ve always been careful about establishing my online identity because it can always come back to haunt me if ever I do something wrong. After all, it’s my name that’s on the line here. So if I feel like playing diry or I’m going to be looking for “racier” stuff, then that’s what my many alternicks are for. So yeah, a constant and consistent representation of yourself online truly helps a lot if you want to make yourself known online.

  54. Good read you have here. And good pointers a swell. I’ve always been careful about establishing my online identity because it can always come back to haunt me if ever I do something wrong. After all, it’s my name that’s on the line here. So if I feel like playing diry or I’m going to be looking for “racier” stuff, then that’s what my many alternicks are for. So yeah, a constant and consistent representation of yourself online truly helps a lot if you want to make yourself known online.