still coming down from a great discussion last night on the merits of social media and how it can help each of us build our own "brand." thanks to john over at patchchord
and all the others who put on a presentation that i hope is only the beginning of an ongoing conversation about why we do this and what works.
and while the presentation wasn't on blogging, but was, instead, on facebook, twitter and linkedIn, here's my two-cents on this crazy, overly saturated world of blogging.
i started my blog the same day i joined myspace. today, i'm planning to delete the myspace account. why? it doesn't work for me. but after nearly four years of blogging, i don't plan to stop this any time soon. and here's the thing, i'm a brand. you're a brand. like it or not, this is the truth. and whatever you put out there, on the internet, for the world to see, defines you. i'm aware that the brand of "me" includes this blog. and i understand that potential employers could come here, see that i sometimes am emotional or irrational or confused, and then make a decision to not hire me based on that. but honestly, i probably wouldn't want to work for someone who doesn't consider the person as a "whole" and, instead, just as a "number." becuase what person has never felt an emotion. okay, right?
but i do have to be careful. so do you. don't blog about work unless you understand the repercussion. don't think that your employer doesn't read your blog, because unless you've been incredibly gifted at hiding it, they know it's out there. just. be. smart. about it.
this blog began as a creative outlet. and it still is. but it's also my journal. my space to process feelings and to talk about issues and things that i really need someone to listen to. and i blog because it feeds my soul. it's just as much a selfish thing as any other. i do it because it feels good.
for me, blogging naturally extended to things like twitter and facebook. why those are incredibly useful tools for both your professional and personal life is for another post. but i do have one comment.
be yourself. be true to who you are in real life. the digital space is just an extention of you. don't foreget this. don't be fooled by how easy it is to just say whatever you want to say and "be" whoever you want to be. don't use the digital space as a platform for creating the person you are not strong enough to be in the real world. be you. becuase if someone gets to know you this way. through your tweets and your blog and your thoughts. and if this person then meets you in real life, and you're nothing like your blog or your tweets or whatnot, there is a huge disconnect between who you really are. and this, i think, is one of the fatal mistakes made by people who don't fully grasp the usefulness of their blog and their tweets in keeping them connected to a network of people. a network of people who could come in handy in the future for whatever they may need.