The meaning of a personal online brand

Last night I attended a Greater IBM Connection (alumni) virtual party in Secondlife where Debbe Kennedy was launching her new book. During the proceedings Ted Childs, former VP of Diversity at IBM made this wonderful observation about Debbe.

Ted Childs in Secondlife
Ted Childs in Secondlife

He spoke of her passion for people and how he saw her career progress – not by putting herself first – but by always thinking of how to improve things and progress things for other people.

What a wonderful quality to be known for. Sometimes in this web2.0 space I’m cautious not to begin too many sentences beginning with “I”. Although I know it can be “all about me” in the web2.0 world I hope that my focus also can be about others. When does personal expression and conversation turn into pure navel gazing with an audience?

So while I challenge myself, let me also ask you. What is your personal online brand doing for others? Is your brand all about you? Have you seen any examples of personal brands that speak less of the person and more of other people?

3 thoughts on “The meaning of a personal online brand

  1. Des Walsh

    cGreat questions. Challenging.There’s an old maxim along the lines that no one is a good judge in their own case, but I’ll have a go. I’d like to think that my brand – via a couple of blogs – is about providing helpful information and sharing insights, also hopefully helpful, about subjects people are interested in for their businesses. Mainnly social media, coaching and the challenges and opportunities for professionals working from home.My assumption is that if readers don’t find the content helpful or at least interesting, they will stop being readers.

    I can imagine a close friend or family member reading one of m7 blogs once or twice out of loyalty to me or interest in me, but not on a sustained basis.

  2. Euan W Semple

    Good question. I was always very careful while involved with web 2.0 stuff at the Beeb to use we instead of I because I was really passionate that the tools we put in were for the users and were collectively useful rather than individually. A shared sense of ownership was partly what made them successful and sustainable.

    Also it was a group of us who were involved in choosing and implementing the tools so I wince if I ever catch myself using “I” in any interviews about what we did.

    Even now with clients it is really important that it is not me who does things or am seen to bring about change – it is them who have to do it. This is one of the ways I believe that old style, heroic consulting is innapropriate.

  3. wonderwebby

    Hi Des and Euan. Thanks so much for these great responses.
    Des – yes there needs to be a specific purpose and intent for your blog, otherwise it is difficult to make it meaningful to any single audience (to subscribe)

    Euan – great example. Heroes in this space might make themselves look good – but what value are they really contributing? Thanks again.

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