Way back when I had a film camera, I learned about the process it took to go from film to pictures. One of the most critical parts of this process is exposure; it’s only the first step, but if it’s not done right, it ruins the entire process. I don’t want to go photo-geek on you, because I’m not, but it strikes me that this idea applies to creating your personal image as well.
There are a lot of blogs out there about new media, personal branding and so on, so there’s a ton of advice from far more qualified people than me, but from what I understand, it all boils down to one thing: How Well Can I Get To Know You?
Pretty simple, right? I mean, I’m on Twitter – but I’m no twitter star with a hundred thousand followers. I blog, but it’s not every day, in spite of my efforts (which had damn well better change soon, since the book is coming slowly but surely). I’m on every place I can get to, but I’m not very active – so far.
I’ve been reading a lot of posts from bloggers all over the place about the return of serendipity, and it’s interesting to see. The idea that you can use a tool like StumbleUpon to find neat stuff outside your comfort zone is pretty cool: Intentional Serendipity is very new media. It got me thinking, though, if you’re trying to build a personal brand, trying to sell yourself before your product (which is part of the whole human business movement, I guess) – how easy are you making it for people to find you?
Serendipity is nice, but being a parrot doesn’t help you get found. Being interesting and accessible does. Being interesting is the hard part, but it seems to be all people ever focus on. After all, I’m interesting. I think. But if I don’t do something to prove it, how can I expect people to subscribe to my feed, much less read a second article on my blog? How can I expect people to follow me on Twitter – much less be following when I check next week – if my tweets are blazze, or non-existant?
In short, if I’m not using the tools I’ve got to the best ability of them, what’s the point of using the tools, right? But then…
But then, if it’s forced, it’s useless. And if it’s useless, it’s a waste of time. So maybe my 14 followers and I are all I need on Twitter. Maybe my ten readers are all I need out of RSS. The door’s open for anyone to walk in, and the more comfortable I get, the better off it’ll all be. Right?
I’ll stop. Feels like rambling. The point of saying this is that there is merit to either form. Aggregation or connection. Business or socialising. They don’t often cross over each other, but two things remain true:
It’s not how much content you produce, it’s how useful it is do your crowd.
It doesn’t matter how connected you make yourself, it’s how available you are to new connections.
As such: Hi. How are you?