I like to experiment. Curiosity & experience is essential to knowledge.
These days, I have my own brand laboratory: I am building a little social network on facebook.com/domtru, twitter.com/d_trudeau, mymagiccarpetride.wordpress.com, linkedin.com/in/dominiquetrudeau, and domtru.collected.at. It is a place where I try stuff, a place where I learn about myself and a lot about others. I’m no professional at it, but I learn new stuff everyday. Here are a few random and non-exhaustive thoughts about it:
It’s fun and addictive. It gives me a voice, an audience. It makes me think about my work. I craft it and I watch it grow. And it gives a mike to my voice.
I am connected with the entire world, in real time, when I want, on my terms.
It is a personal branding exercise. Really. When you talk, when you say something, when you write, you want someone to listen, to watch to read. The network allows you to build your audience, your reach. When it happens, you start building on your brand, your personae.
Social networking is a star system. You find faint, little distant stars, big super nova, and black holes too.
People share in order to gain popularity.
People relay content, new stuff, content in real time, as it happen, as fast as possible. Your one hour-old news is plain old news. It is a race to be the first in your circle to relay the new hot thing. With Twitter, this game really took a planetary dimension.
But in reality, there is not so many new hot things happening in a day on the planet. To gain attention and to feed this social network beast, users must rely on some tricks. Use of superlatives is widespread on Twitter. Awesome, fantastic, outstanding, are often describing average content. Use of lists (10 best vintage ads, 50 incredible black &white sites…) is another way to make poor feeds look better.
Posting a status or a tweet creates a chain reaction, a ripple effect in the network. I like to track it. I like to test how and when I can create a bigger ripple.
Conversations are happening non-stop between groups of people. In order to get into it, you have two choices: either you’re invited to join in and participate. People are then predisposed to listen to you. Or you have a unique story that people will relay for you. You are then a content provider in hope that this content will live by itself and make enough noise.
Generosity is key to social networking. It is embedded in its nature. It propels it. I hope this can translate somehow outside the computer, in our lives, in our society, in our so called civilized world.
Honesty is key to social networking. Whatever works, good or bad stuff, as long as it’s honest and sincere. The bullshit detector is pretty strong out there.
This exercise in branding myself using so little means for so much (relatively speaking) impact is very educational when it comes to market a brand out there. Give it a try, experience yourself.