Personal Brands & Fabricated Authenticity

It wasn’t that long ago I was writing about personal brands. Embarrassing as that might be to admit, I will admit it. My gearhead friends gave me a generous amount of shit for it, too.

I deserved it.
But I like to think my heart was in the right place.

You see, about 10 years ago, the web was full of online communities. Millions of people were interacting with each other around their interests. It was engagement on a global scale. And it was almost always done from behind pseudonyms—behind screen names.

I saw the internet as a clean slate. A fresh start for anyone who wanted to leverage their expertise into a new, improved reputation. The internet was a brave new world. You can do that sort of thing where nobody knows anything about you.

You might say the idea of personal branding lead me to discover work life parallel. After all, what’s a brand if not a reputation? And what’s a reputation, if not what you do (and how you do it)?

Just a thought.