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The Two Things You Need for a Personal Brand

Personal Branding - The Anti-Social Media“If I could only be like him.”

How many times have you said that about someone in your life? Maybe you’ve said it about someone you’ve seen on TV, or in a movie.

I know I’ve said it. That’s why when I’m at home alone, I act like a playing a video game, trying to be the heroes I see on my TV screen.

Shut up.

You know you do something just like that too.

When we talk about personal brands in social media, we look at people like Gini Dietrich, or Mari Smith, or Chris Brogan and we worship them for their ability to create a cult of personality around themselves. But is it really just a narcissistic circle jerk?

There are two things that go into strong personal brand:

  1. Strong values to stand for.
  2. Great work to stand behind.

You don’t have a personality if you don’t stand for anything. When you don’t have any values you’re a barnacle, clinging onto whatever values you can. Or maybe you’re just clay, molded into whatever values are acceptable from one person to the next.

People with great personal brands hold strong values. I believe that half-assed social networking is ruining our ability to communicate with one another. I also believe in the power of humor to educate.

These values fuel the work I do. They make sure that whatever I do, my work support those values. They charge me with doing the best work I can. This includes my online persona. I don’t allow myself to suck just because I’m trying to figure out “the Twitter” or whatever the next social networking craze is.

You don’t need tips, hints and guides to have values and do great work. All you need is a spine and the gumption to do the work.

Stop worrying about your personal brand. Start worrying about what you value, and how you can do better work.

Once you’ve got those under control, your personal brand will reveal itself.



Cyborgs - The Anti-Social MediaHow many people do you know who schedule their tweets?

I call these people cyborgs. They’re engaged, but when they can’t take the time to engage, they let the software do the talking for them by sharing content.

I understand the cyborgs. They have jobs. They have lives. They can’t spend their lives in communion with their computer or smartphone in an attempt to be a god of social networking.

But at what point do you decide that you should be a publisher when you’re not around? How do you measure the value of sharing content when you’re not there to see the conversation it creates? If the conversation is so important to you, why can’t you be there to start it in the first place?

Maybe it’s different for some people. Maybe these people are too worried about building a cult of personality around themselves than actually making social networking social.

Or maybe they’re just smart about how they use their time. I don’t know what their exact motivations are.

What I do know is that I think something is lost when you decide that it’s more important to be a robotic publisher. If you decide you can’t be everywhere, but want to give the illusion that you are, you haven’t made the decision about what’s really important to you.

You can’t have it both ways. You have to decide where your real priorities are. If social networking is important to you, make the time to be there. If the real world is important to you, don’t spend your time trying to make yourself appear like your always online.

Don’t end up a cyborg, unable to chose what will actually make you happy and successful. Make a choice about what’s really important to you.

Are you a cyborg? What made you choose to allow the computer to take over your feeble social networking skills?



TwitterBird - The Anti-Social MediaTwitter changed it’s logo and tried to make a stink about it.

“Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter.”

Oh fuck that.

Twitter is about exchanging messages around the globe quickly from any device with SMS capabilities. It’s about posting what you ate for breakfast. It’s posting what you overheard at lunch. It’s making some sly observation that makes you seem both like the coolest person ever and the biggest douche on the internet. It’s waking up and telling Twitter good morning before you’ve kissed your loved ones.

Changing your logo and posting a pretentious blog post will not make you relevant.

Providing a useful service that allows people to exchange information quickly and easily will keep you in the hearts and minds of the masses. In fact, you already do that Twitter. And you do it well without being a total asshat like some other social networks I know.

So, in six months when your creative director is trying to get you to change your logo once again (“It’s made of fairy dust!”), just stop and think about how you can use that money to improve and enhance your service to your users.

Me and the rest of Twitter will thank you then.


When to Join a New Social Network

Too many People - The Anti-Social MediaPeople are making more social networks and normal people don’t  know what to do with them. I should know, because these networks send me every awful press release they write.

FaceSpace just passed 200 users! We’re going to beat Facebook in the next millennium!

Yeah. Right.

So with so many crazy social networks popping out of every God-forsaken corner of the internet, how do you know when it’s time to join one of these new fangled social networks?

You know a social network is worth its meddle when the network can be described in a  clear and concise way. If it takes paragraph, or two, OR FIVE, then you know there’s a problem.

It’s even worse if it’s described as, “It’s like that other crappy social network, but it has a feature that appeals to Linux users.”

Kill me now.

You should join it if you actually know living, breathing people on there. Social networks with only a handful strangers are sad, lonely places. And knowing people means you might actually come back and find something you like.

What does it take for you to join a new social network? Well, you know, besides a hundred dollars.


The Worst Facebook Ad Ever

I get bad Facebook ads every. single. day. Normally, they target me with awful stereotypes  because I’m gay. There’s nothing more exciting than logging into Facebook and seeing your newsfeed surrounded by an underwear party.

Well, actually, that is pretty exciting, if you know what I mean.

Then I got this image in a Facebook ad for a job searching tool:

A Very Scary Facebook Ad Image

Oh. My God.

This is the stuff of nightmares. Now, when I look at Facebook ads, I see this:

The Stuff of Nightmares - The Anti-Social Media

Who in their right mind chose that image? It makes me want to stay the hell away from that ad and Facebook. For all I know, I’ll click that ad and I’ll be floating in a sewer with Tim Curry.

Please Zuckerberg - Take this terrible dream away.


Facebook Wants Your Delicious Organs

Delicious Brains - The Anti-Social MediaFacebook announced users could list themselves as organ donors on their timeline. This was met with immediate praise by zombies, cannibals, and people who are too short-sighted to see the awful truth behind this move.

Soon, Facebook will become OrganBook. Doesn’t that have a lovely ring to it?

Whatever the case, this is just another invasion of user’s privacy. Here are a few of the truly awful reasons Facebook wants you to declare that you are an organ donor

  • Facebook is turning us into  flesh-eating zombies - Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling the newsfeed? As we lose our conscious thoughts to Facebook as we develop the taste for delicious brains, and we need to know where we can get that next meal.
  • Facebook is writing an organ meat cookbook - You can’t rely on just on source of revenue, and it’s going to take a lot of liver to feed 800 million people.
  • Mark Zuckerberg is actually Hannibal Lector - They’re both ridiculously smart, obsessive, and able to mess with our minds. Zuckerburg already kills everything he eats. How long until he has a taste for human?
  • Facebook is breaking into the black market for organs - Again, this diversifies Facebook’s revenue stream. Don’t mind that gaping wound. You said you wanted to donate a kidney!
  • Facebook is on a public health crusade - After oragns, Facebook asks people to share whether they are diabetic, have cancer, or are HIV positive. Pharmaceutical companies  salivate as they advertise directly to the patients who desperately need their medicine. “Like” this post to win free dialysis!
  • Facebook is making a market for cheap and plentiful organs - Repo! The Genetic Opera doesn’t look that silly. And you can pay with Facebook credits!
  • They just want to help people - Yeah. Right.

You’ve already given your heart, mind and soul to Facebook. Don’t be surprised when they come for your flesh next month.


Content Creation is for Chumps.

Give up while you're ahead. You’ve probably heard from so-called content marketing gurus that you need to create your own original content to succeed online.

That’s all lies.

Unique ideas are for people who are too dumb to figure out how to repurpose someone else’s work. Someone else has already had your original idea. Now just make it work for you

Stop creating. Give up while you’re ahead. Just steal everything you need.

No one wants original content. Nobody wants to be entertained or educated. They don’t want to be delighted. They just want to see the same crap, day in and day out.

So get to work remixing and repurposing. Nobody will mind seeing the same idea over and over and over.

How are you going to steal someone else’s work today?



Social Media is like Something

What is social media - The Anti-Social MediaHave you heard about social media? Apparently, it’s a hot new thing, like Web 2.0 or the Information Superhighway.

Well, I haven’t heard about social media yet, so I did some research. Social media is like something, but nobody know what that something is. For example:

What. The. Hell.

Make up your damn minds! What the hell is social media like? A strategic game? Sexy clothing? Marshmallows covered in a fattening condiment?

Social media is anything. Whatever you want social media to be, social media can be it.

Just don’t make social media chess-playing, ranch covered marshmallow in a string bikini. Someone already has that twisted fetish covered.