PERSONAL BRANDING IS OVERRATED
We’re living in a world where anyone has the potential for 15 minutes or streams of fame; this is the rise and era of the weblebrity, as I call the elite few who get more views on YouTube than Nike or even Apple. It appears that anyone with a point of view, no matter how banal, is in the self-proclaimed-expert business. Like it or not, the democratization of opinion has completely leveled the playing fields and it’s probably not going to change any time soon.
The new creative class is certainly embracing the tools at their disposal: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, podcasting, Flickr, and the like. However, the flipped funnel warns all of us to avoid the lure of becoming just another broadcaster (read: spammer), turning an otherwise purely conversational platform into a one-way channel or vehicle that is no better—and probably is worse—than its predecessors.
I have more than 2,700 fake friends on Facebook; at least, I call them that. It’s a term of endearment. I invite you all to become my fake friends as well. Use my vanity URL of www.facebook.com/jaffejuice
to friend me. Here’s the problem, though: I can’t have a meaningful bond with my 14,000+ Twitter followers or 2,700+ Facebook friends. I’ve made the same mistake that most of us make in our personal and professional lives: We want to be popular, and we measure our success by tonnage as opposed to class.
It’s the same mistake we make when we try to measure influence and authority in ...