Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni: Will Personal Brands be “in” in Web 3.0?

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There are so many nuggets here, I don't know where to start.

I think the concept of social capital is interesting when it comes to personal brands. Building social equity does, in many ways, create power. So the question that arises is, what does one do with that influence? Too far to one side, and you have pure self-promotion, which seems to ring untrue with the concept of community. But so many people are doing this, or at least have the potential to.

So, do we really value community? Or perhaps, "who values community?" is the more important question. Will the semantic web be divided into people who do and those who participate just to push branded messages, whether those of individuals or those of companies?

I think of Adrian's comment - and if "the key to executing a personal brand in social media is is to make the most of one's social network" - isn't it important for us to ask what they are making the most of their networks for? Or are we all really out to push our own agendas in the end?

I guess one thing that's always rung a little odd in my ears just about the term "personal brand" is that a brand, in marketing, has one very clear purpose: sales.

The same simply is not true of people, even if you apply the metaphor to careers. I am not a product, and my goal as a person is not purely to be "sold" (employed). People and our motivations and goals are much more complex than this metaphor will allow.

Clearly, I agree with you that there are important questions to ask - and answer. First for ourselves. Thanks for a great jumping off point!

Valeria,

It certainly does appear that personal branding is happening, if not as a strategic business practice (to wit social media experts on twitter) but authentically, as you put it, also.

The significant change from then to now is that media have gone social, and branding has become less about image (on social media) and more about conversation and participation. I think there's even a "participatory branding" approach emerging for those who can leverage their brand through conversational touchpoints.

This should get more sophisticated as we get beyond influence as measured in the aggregate to influence in contextualized by one's followers, topics, interests, and also personalities.

The key to executing on personal brand in social media is to make most of one's social network or graph. If you will, social graph marketing as an upgrade to relationship marketing of yesteryear. Branding on tools like twitter is fast, flowing, and very dynamic. I don't think we have the tools to measure this yet, as many social analytics tools are derived from a document and site traffic model. But it wouldn't surprise me that we see new tools soon that enable personal brand managers to take advantage of transient, conversational, and attention-rich opportunities dynamically and on the fly.

cheers,
adrian

Is authenticity online really authentic or is it the evolution of the mechanisms that produced stars?

I'm leaning towards "evolution". People have been managing their reputations since high school. Most of us grow out of the petty teenage cliquishness but I don't think we ever entirely grow out of a primal need for external validation and therefore the need to manage our reputations.

The words "reputation" and "personal brands" are practically interchangeable. Celebrities have been managing their reputations for years and the Q Score was invented precisely for that purpose ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_Score )

What's happened is a gradual democratization of celebrity. We went from watching celebrities on the silver screen to watching them on TV to competing to become celebrities on reality TV, to creating our own celebrity on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc.

As we all migrate towards a more public life, we become more cognizant of the need to put of best foot forward.

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