Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"


(Yet Another) Plea for Ego

In the past, I have seen people bristle at the notion of “personal brand.”

You know, and I know, people who have gotten high off their own Google Analytics and displayed an inflated sense of their own self-importance.

So what?

Really, so what?

That’s no reason to sublimate the ego in social media.

It is, despite what people say, all about you.

Why? I don’t care about every little detail of your life, and I don’t expect you to care about mine (even if I post it on Twitter and Facebook- and believe, that is far from everything).

What I do care about is what you have to add. Don’t forgo ego because people (and I’m not picking on Amber Naslund even if her excellent post for aspiring writers set me off) tell you to. That shouldn’t be enough reason anyway, right?

So, here are my reasons for making it all about You:

  • You may or may not be an expert on some things, but you are definitely the foremost expert on You. Only you have had your experiences and opinions. Share them.
  • Objectivity is great but news I can read anywhere. Don’t distill, add You. I know when I blog,
  • Don’t worry if people don’t care about the “You” bits. More people care than you think- plus, you can always write it all out then pare back before you publish.
  • Don’t worry bout becoming a “social media (jerk).” Actually, do worry- if you are worrying about it, then you probably are in less danger of becoming one.
  • Corporate bloggers? Corporate-speak is necessary at times, but the most successful blogs inject the individual bloggers’ personalities. Is there a risk of the person eclipsing the brand? Two things: that’s where ego checks and common sense are actually required, and anyone- even the CEO- can be replaced as blogger without killing the brand.

People with healthy egos probably don’t need this advice. Maybe those are the people we need to worry about becoming obnoxious egotistical jerks.

Either way, I’ll end off with this great song “Watching the Planets” from one of my favorite bands, The Flaming Lips. The video is about as NSFW as it gets (lots of people running- and pedaling- around nekkid), by the way, but that’s how Wayne Coyne & Co. roll:

(Actually, I chickened out because my kid sometimes come to this blog, God knows why: if you want to see the video, it’s actually quite good, and it’s here:

If you really are into "killing the ego", the Lips have this cool hoodie for sale on their site (not an affiliate link, alas)

One Response to (Yet Another) Plea for Ego

  1. I think it’s a balance. You definitely don’t want to hear about when I lift weights (do you?), but if I’m a fitness blogger, maybe you do.

    And you may very well want to hear about when (and where) I last took my dog for a walk, even if it seems to be peripheral information.

    Sure, I could go all corporate and just tell you about the New Balance sneakers I’m wearing, but if I share my park experience with you then you’re getting a little bit of me, a little bit of homey-ness with your marketing and I look a lot less like a corporate shill.

    We’ve all got enough corporate shills in our lives, I’d wager. An authentic, friendly focus, a dollop on the marketing, makes it all considerably easier to take.

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