Comment Challenge Day 27: What Do You Communicate About Your Personal Brand Through Comments
Online personal branding is becoming a big deal. The more active we are on the web, the more we communicate about who we are and what we do. Many of us may have considered that our blogs are a way of communicating about our "brand," but what about the comments we leave?
Dauwd Miracle recounts an experience he had with comments as a form of personal branding. Take a look at his post and then write a post about what you think you may be communicating about your personal brand through your comments. For bonus points, think about some of the other commenters you've encountered during the Challenge and write about about what you think their personal brand is based on their commenting behaviors. Remember to tag your post with "comment08."
Hi there, Michele,
You know, I saw this task and ignored it, and then I went back and tried to figure out why I did not want to write about "branding." I think it has to do with the perception that a brand is a commercial endeavor -- the selling of self and ideas for some sort of profit (maybe not money, but recognition?).
And that rubs me the wrong way, although I know that some folks are making their blogging into their business. And a brand makes that easier.
I did read the post by Dawud, which did explain the topic but I felt unconvinced by it all.
This issue of branding must touch some strain in me, so I am opting to pass on the branding questions for now.
Thanks, however, for giving me a platform here to express some thoughts. I expect others will disagree with me on this one, which if fine.
Posted by: Kevin | May 28, 2008 at 08:17 PM
Sorry I'm breaking commenting etiquette but am really tired and wanted to respond to Kevin's comment. So I've grabbed my comment from Greg's Open Stacks post and added it here:
Personal branding is just as important when writing comments as it writing posts.
Trouble is over time our readers build a picture of who we are and what they believe we stand for. The image they build is based on their level of interaction with us and our responses. That is a gradual process that happens as a result of them interacting with our blogs.
When we write comments on other people blogs - the blogger and their readers don’t necessarily have that image already created so it is easier for them to make erroneous decisions on who you are based on our comments.
Solution? None really — we can only be ourselves and ensure we are consistent in how we present ourselves when we blog and when we write comments. Do we achieve this? Maybe not — I know myself that I spend a lot more time writing my posts than I do writing a comment. mmm food for thought?
Posted by: Sue Waters | May 29, 2008 at 05:28 AM
Hi Kevin--I know that "branding" is a term that seems to turn a lot of people off (kind of like that pesky "comment policy.") But the reality is that even if we don't think that it applies to us, it really does. As Sue points out, every blog post we write and every comment we make gives people information that helps them form an impression of us. That's our "brand." We can consciously consider that or we can choose not to, but if we don't, we run the risk of creating a "brand" we didn't intend.
And online, our brand lives a lot longer--it shows up in Google searches, it's on our blogs and other people's blogs, and pretty much hangs out there forever. There are emails I wrote to the TRDEV listserv in 1996 that can still be found online! Luckily I think that they're wholly consistent with who I am, but it could have gone another way. Ask some of these kids who are posting details of their partying in their Facebook profiles that then come back to haunt them.
My point is that while we can think that branding doesn't apply to us, it always does. It becomes a matter of whether or not we want to be conscious of supporting that brand.
And Sue--I agree with you 100% that our comments elsewhere can actually be trickier because they are easily taken out of context. It does pay to be aware of that when we're doing our commenting.
Posted by: Michele Martin | May 29, 2008 at 05:46 AM