Personal Branding Preys on Self Esteem Needs

A point/counterpoint post by Geoff Livingston and Olivier Blanchard, respectively. Cross posted on The BrandBuilder Blog. Everyone in life wants to be loved on a personal basis, and received well professionally. When feelings of inadequacy arise — self esteem — it’s natural to look for solutions to improve a sense of worth. The most disturbing (and the least talked about) aspect of the personal branding movement is the promise that it can increase self worth through the intentional manufacture of an image. Personal branding remains a popular individual career and online promotion strategy (as evidenced by the top of the Blog Tree by Eloqua and Jess3) in spite of significant criticism from the marketing profession as well as many employers. […]

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Deconstructing Name Dropping

Tell me someone on the social web who doesn’t name drop. The whole currency of the social web lies in referencing and mentioning people by name. Name dropping builds perceived value and equity. It’s at the heart of today’s influence measures right or wrong (see write up of Klout), and drives “weblebrity.” So we should look at it. Is simply associating yourself with someone — even if it’s a fly by — an accurate measure of ability? I think even posing this question is absurd, but it seems to be the way of things right now. People go to conferences, tag each other and check-in with posts, mention casual lunches, and even business deals. Some do it with sincerity (happy […]

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Linkbait and Monopoly: Responding to Your Criticism

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander as they say. In that spirit, I have received and listened to several complaints from readers, friends and spectators over the past few days. Some of the criticism was fine — everyone’s entitled to their opinion — but seemed to be a defense of ideas that were being questioned. And as such, the Teflon Revolution post written with Ike Pigott serves as my answer. But other criticism merits a deeper inventory and either a response or an amends. So dear reader, here are my responses: Linkbait and Gearing Up I respect Ed Shahzade a lot, and committed to him that I would consider his criticisms. The ones I’d like to […]

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When Social Media Rewards the Mindless and the Elite

Writer’s Note (11/20): Trackbacks on this post have been turned off.  Links/SEO were not my objective. Elite social media performer chart from Brian Solis’s Three Cs post. Let’s be honest. Online media is just a collective mass of live and static expressions representing society as a whole. It should not be surprising to any of us that social media has evolved to reward immediate mindlessness and elitism. In that sense, it is just like our popular culture. How else can you explain the rises of Ashton Kutcher and Kim Kardashian as top Twitter accounts? Or within the communications sector, the widespread dissemination of “unique” best practices that will get you the largest, most elite position in the social graph possible? […]

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Advice, Politics and Parenting

I thought about writing a post mortem election post on what the Democrats could have done better with their online communications campaign (starting with their relentless spamming of my email address in spite of several opt-out requests). Then I decided not to. After my Mashable post on the two party’s approaches, did I really need to offer this unsolicited criticism? No one at the Democrats is asking for my advice. As a new parent, I am getting quite a bit of advice right now. Some of it is paid (pediatrician, lactatian, etc.), some of it is requested advice from friends who have been there, and most of it is unsolicited from family, friends, and online community members. Don’t get me […]

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Punk Social Media

On February 2006, the Sex Pistols — the four original members plus Sid Vicious — were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their response: “Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain.” The height of disco was the mid 70s. The movie Saturday Night Fever prolonged the light, synthesized pop music’s stay on top of America’s charts, but it had a new competitor: The very raw irreverent birth of punk music. One could say that Andy Gibb gave birth to Johnny Rotten. This new anti-establishment movement was led by the Sex Pistols, and many other acts like the Ramones, the Clash, Patti Smith (so many to list, one […]

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