risks of personal branding online.

two things everyone agrees on: 1) people who attain a sufficient level of notability are brands; and 2) the owners do not get to decide what the brand is - the consumers do.

the question: why are ‘personality brands’ always disgusted and shocked when the consumers of their blog / vlog / twitter / etc. completely misrepresent the brand?

the brand is NOT UP TO YOU.

this, i think, is the one point that is usually ignored when transparency comes into play.  transparency seems like a wonderful idea, but i can understand why someone would want to participate anonymously on a larger scale.  if your brand is your real life identity, and other people get to decide what that identity means in the most important communications medium of our time, then who are you?

as the title suggests, i know that the issues are more complex than this.

but still.

[cross-posted from my tumblr account (see sidebar)]

[in relation to this post, and my response.]


the importance of persuasive communication in leadership.

Just thought I'd stop in and link to a post explaining my stance on whether a leadership candidate being a 'Marketing Genius' is a good or bad thing.

Also, I'm leaving the country in not too long, so another week will be added to the long, long, long drought in new posts.


Letter to my Member of Parliament

June 13, 2008

The Honourable Bryon Wilfert

House of Commons

Dear Sir,

I'm writing as a constituent to let you know that I am strongly opposed to the amendments proposed to Canadian copyright legislation on June 12, 2008. While I understand many Canadians, voters or otherwise, don't understand the technical implications of these changes, I find them a direct infringement of my liberties as a Canadian citizen.

By criminalizing workarounds for Digital Rights Management technology, this Bill allows any company to essentially determine the bounds of copyright law - destroying fair dealing options such as time or location shifting of content, with no legal recourse for users.

Most importantly, to enforce this legislation, the entire concept of a right to privacy would have to go out the window; any actual enforcement would require monitoring and inspecting the usage history of every Canadian with an internet connection, and likely allowing companies to do so.

My privacy, as a Canadian citizen, does not outrank essential concerns such as the safety and security of my fellow Canadians. However, I must insist that my right to privacy comes before the rights of entertainment industry conglomerates that seem to have dictated the content of Minister Prentice's Bill.

I ask that you stand against this legislation.


Jonathan Crowley


Vanity Fair stumbles into Social Media relevance.

Every once in a while, an dead-tree outlet does something that's either a beautiful accident, or a rare moment of brilliance. Vanity Fair seems to have one going on at this exact moment.

"Five weeks ago, when I started working as as editorial assistant here at VF.com, my boss casually mentioned that he was giving me until August 5 to attract 10,000 fans to the Vanity Fair Facebook page. It was an onerous and epic assignment, and I responded to it the way any sensible person would: I brightly answered “Yes, sir,” and then did nothing, hoping he would forget about it."

The actual idea is absurd, legislating a quota for something that is 1) opt in, and 2) offers no reward, is more or less a recipe for failure. The difference is that the larger picture, giving a new employee an impossible assignment, and having it incorporate social media in an integral manner, taps into the point of something like Facebook.

This isn't about Vanity Fair anymore. It's about Bill Bradley, it's about overbearing bosses who don't get it, it's about the way new media is being glued to anything with a faint pulse in hopes that it will be revitalized. Vanity Fair now has a story on Facebook, or more accurately, Bill Bradley has a story on Facebook that draws attention to Vanity Fair.

I'm assuming this is a well planned and low budget attempt to go viral, but given my job and my interests, I see campaigns where there are none all the time.

Still, it's a good lesson for anyone trying to figure this Facebook thing out; the point isn't to put your brand into a social network. The point is to attach your brand to a person, via a story, that creates associations. Social networks are about people. People are about things. But this order needs to be maintained to generate interest without coming across as a colonist.