July 26, 2008 |
Drama 2.0 stole a topic from me that I've been thinking about for a while; I don't believe I have a personal brand. A friend joking referred to me as "always being a gun for hire" in the tech blogosphere, and I'm totally fine with that. I'm hired (and paid) to do a job, and that's build a brand for the company I'm working for, whether it's here at Profy or at The Industry Standard, or anywhere else that I've written in the past.
I've had a Web presence since 1995, and was very active on IRC and USENET before I ever set mouse pointer on a link. All were under pseudonyms, and I was just fine keeping it that way when I started writing for work instead of merely a hobby. Sure, it was harder getting gigs at first when I was unwilling to link to anything I'd done under a handle, but I was able to keep my personal life personal.
I don't get terribly upset when someone confuses me with another author; I'm just happy to know that someone's reading my article in the first place. I do want in-links and comments, however, because pageviews are what make the blogging world go round, and if my employer(s) aren't happy, I'm out of a job.
There are always people out there who think that anyone who isn't already a Weblebrity wants to be one. For me, at least, that couldn't be further from the truth. A-listers come and go, no matter what realm you exist in, and I'm not interested in being someone who comes and then goes. To compare to the Hollywood star machine, the "big stars" don't have resumes half as long as that character actor whose name you can never remember.
So no, I neither need nor want a personal brand. I really don't care if anyone knows my name or invites me to their party. I care if I have a career, and my chosen career doesn't involve having a personal brand. It just means showing up to work, doing my best, and hopefully increasing the eyeballs to someone else's site.