Archive for January, 2009

Rebelling against personal branding

January 31, 2009

This post was prepared as a response to Just How Valuable is Personal Branding on Des Walsh’s blog Thinking Home Business. I have modified it slightly here.

Re personal branding, I am with the contrarians. The term ‘personal brand’ began to peeve me some time ago, perhaps because I have always hated anyone’s attempts to pigeonhole me. I wondered how I was going to do that to myself. Then I decided I wouldn’t, no matter how fashionable it is.

I am in the process of re-starting this blog yet again, a blog which I think shows some of the pitfalls involved in personal branding. Initially, I spent a lot of time developing a clear focus for the blog, which was to be an academic blog about the shared nature of creativity. I called it ‘Culture is a Conversation’ based on a phrase in a book by JD Lasica. That brand ended up being a conversation stopper, which constrained me from posting most of my thoughts.

I decided to move from that focus, and explained why. It would be possible to read that post either way, as a further exploration of how to arrive at a personal brand, or as a rejection of personal branding in favour of emergent practice. I favour the latter.

Today I was editing the ‘about me’ page of this blog when a tweet came past about Des’ discussion. There I state the limits of my self-branding:

‘I like the education I have had, as it gives me the ability to approach anything from a humanities, scientific or creative perspective; and to see things from the intersection of all three. Emphasising this diversity is as close as I am prepared to get to the current notion of ‘personal branding’. I mistrust anything that might make my life smaller, and I have no interest in defining any presets for my thinking. I will use whatever tools I have in whatever way my content requires.’

To constrain myself to a ‘brand’ would risk limiting my vision to things that already exist. Then again, maybe I could just add ‘contrarian’ to that brand-like list above, because I usually end up being one 😉

How many use real radio now?

January 5, 2009

Today on Twitter I found that a friend and colleague (Nic Suzor) was to speak on am radio “right now”. I had to quickly figure out where my old radio was, then messed around for a couple of minutes getting it to work as it has been a long time (and there was a line in – pulling that out did the trick). After the program I found out that Nic doesn’t even have a radio. Now I know Nic and I are not exactly alone in using the web for all our audio (except this one time). In fact I can only think of two or three people I know who still regularly use actual radios.

I wonder if this degree of change in media usage has dawned on the people attempting to architect the proposed ISP-level internet filtering to be trialled in Australia shortly.  That is what Nic Suzor was speaking against.

First, we have an enormous amount of audio data to push through the filter’s bottleneck. Second, by what means is the filter going to censor real-time audio? And last but not least, with this shift in audio consumption from radio to the web there will be censorship of society’s major audio communications medium. That has a distinctly totalitarian feel.

Perhaps we will all be buying CB radios again, if the censorship proposal is not defeated.