Monday, January 25, 2010

Graffiti and personal branding

I’m reading a book about the history and progression of graffiti. This is the connection I’ve made to personal branding.

In the beginning of the history of graffiti artists tried to write their name everywhere as a means of spreading their fame.

Next artists, or writers, started adding more details and colors to their work.

Soon two groups developed, bombers and burners. Bombers continued to write simple names everywhere. Burners added creativity with colors, styles, and techniques.

While bombers certainly had their names everywhere; their work would could easily be overlooked, especially by people outside the community of writers.

Burners work is much more eye-catching. I respect their work more because the amount of work required to do one piece and to get to that level is so much more than what bombers put in.

So, personal branding.

Can you agree that personal branding and graffiti are the same thing with different mediums? Both are about building a respectable reputation based on your name. And both can achieve fame through burning and bombing.

Personal branding is the digital version of graffiti.

I think content on a blog should be where you burn. That is where quality really counts. Spend time developing the style and content of your blog.

Bombing comes into play when you visit other blogs. Share your opinions and join in the conversation. This shows other bloggers you are reading their content and thinking about it (which is what you want people to do with your blog), and commenting will spread your name.

Twitter is a combination of burning and bombing. Your name is displayed whenever you tweet but make sure you maintain intelligent conversation. You don’t want people to unfollow because you have nothing important to say.

Get out there and burn!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Are you being heard or listened to?

Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to put in his or her two cents, blah blah blah.

Most often the loudest people are the ones the crowd hears, but there is a difference between being heard and being listened to.

Being heard really just means you are the loudest, but when people listen they actively want to hear what you have to say and they will seek you out to hear what you say.

On the Internet no one can talk the loudest. They can talk the most though! Talking a lot on a blog or on twitter is self-destructive.

If you post a lot you are burying the few good things you have to say with garbage. I already see my live twitter feed as a waterfall & it is my job to sift out the diamonds that are falling with the water. If you are tweeting too much you are just diluting the diamonds with more water.

Building a following takes time. I used to scour the Internet in search of new cool ideas and products, and I would tweet a new link once a day.

That was too much.

I was posting great material but people still didn’t want to see it because they were still thinking about what I posted yesterday not to mention all the things the other people they follow posted.

If you want people to listen to what you have to say; speak less.

So now I post a new cool link, blog post, or art every two or three days. This might even be a much but it spreads out the new stuff, lets me RT the story a few times to make sure everyone has seen in, & most importantly it lets me concentrate on making better quality material.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Popularity economy

Has anyone else read Extras by Scott Westerfeld? (no problem if you haven't. actually if you haven't check it out!) It’s another futuristic novel. The interesting thing is that the city has a popularity economy.

That is to earn things above the essentials (basic food, shelter, clothes) you just have to entertain the populous.

A very interesting way to distribute limited resources, I think. To make it fair everyone gets his or her own blog. People make gadgets, vids, posts… much like today.

There are people who do cool things to get popular, others who break their stories … like I said, much like today. I feel like popularity is more accessible today. Mainly because of the Internet, which allows people to promote themselves. Hard work (and a great personality) is the only thing needed to gain an audience.

The Internet also lets people find their niche of followers. It doesn’t matter what your passion is, because there is a group of people on the Internet somewhere that want to hear what you have to say. It may take a while to find them if your passion is very specific, but be patient.

The main difference between the book and today is the award system. In the book your popularity is listed as a number on a list with everyone else’s rank. A hole in the wall will judge your popularity and determine what you can afford. Today you have to seek out advertisers to get money from your content.

Bridging both worlds is the fact that an audience is a valuable commodity.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My 7 Favorite Lyrics

7> Got It Made- Theory of a Deadman

“We're having the best time living the fast life/Thinking were just too damn young to die/Ain't waiting for next time to see all the Bright lights/To see it all.”

This one is really cool because there is just so much to see but we’re just flying too fast to see it all. Not the best way to live but its fun for small stretches. Let loose every now and then. Throw the itinerary out the window. Be fun & unpredictable.

6> Crutch- Theory of a Deadman

“You can lean on me, but don't lean/On me like I'm your crutch.

You never started loving me so you could never quit/I could rule this fuckin world and you’d still think I’m shit”

I feel like some people never really appreciate what I do & they always want me to do something different (not any of you! ^_^). I think there are many ways to do things & I try to let people explore different ways. Even if I know they might mess up.

5> Mad World-Gary Jules

“And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad/The dreams in which I'm dying, Are the best I've ever had/I find it hard to tell you/I find it hard to take/When people run in circles/It's a very, very/Mad World”

This song is kind of different. I don’t know why I like it.

4> Don’t Stop- Innerpartysystem

“This is entertainment/Lies are entertainment/You are down on your knees/Begging me for more.

The road I walk is paved in gold/To glorify my platinum soul”

This song highlights how celebrities really idolize themselves. Its kind of I would like to be but not so self absorbed. A little narcissism is good (it keeps Evan Williams employed!)

3> Paparazzi- Lady Gaga

“I'm your biggest fan I'll follow you until you love me/Papa-paparazzi”

Another self-centered song. You have to love the amount of self-promotion you can accomplish with the Internet. Anyone can become a someone. With so many people on the Internet speak about what interests you; other people with the same interests will find you.

2> Its my Life- Bon Jovi

“This ain't a song for the brokenhearted/No silent prayer for the faith departed/And I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd/You're gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud”

You’re going to hear my voice. The envy of everyone; to be heard. I realized I wanted to be heard when facebook became boring. I wanted new friends. Then twitter came along & I have met very cool people from everywhere. Now I am shouting my thought to be heard on this blog.

1> All or Nothing- Theory of a Deadman

“Looking at all or nothing/Babe it's you and I /With you I know that/I am good for something/So lets go give it a try/We've got our backs against the ocean/It's just us against the world”

I love the line “backs against the ocean”. So many possibilities & the time to try them all. That is why the old are jealous of the young. Time is just so free from any restraints. It can heal, destroy, build, & outlast.