Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You're So Vain (You Probably Think This Blog Is About You)

Variety may be the spice of life, but VANITY is the spice that seasons the blogosphere. Face it, you can't spell B L O G G E R without E G O! It takes a certain amount of self-love, self-confidence and self-centeredness to put your words out there for the world to see. Frankly, few of us would be doing it if we didn't have enough of an ego to believe our words, thoughts, creativity, opinions and observations were worthy of note by others. We want to be noticed, recognized (literally and figuratively) and we want to be heard.

Thanks to technology advances an individual's ability to create and distribute their own content has been democratized. It is the proverbial power of the pen and press on steroids. Whereas man has always been able to create with a scroll and ink or a canvas and paint, the audience was limited. Today, with the same ease we can create something that can literally have infinite global reach. Someone in Australia can read this right now, as simply as someone in the house next door (of course the person in the house next door is probably stealing my Wi-Fi signal. My Mate in Australia is a "legitimate" reader!)


We have entered the age of Personal Brands, where being master of your domain (name) is as important as your wardrobe and hygiene choices. Parents are choosing child names based on the availability of (and I used to think "GoDADDY" was an odd name for a Domain Registrar... Bob Parsons is a genius!) Contrary to popular belief, we are NOT what we eat. We ARE what shows up when we Google our names! Lifestreaming, Liveblogging, JustinTV, just in time to make an inordinate amount of content available using cool, free and easy tools.

Micro-blogging is making Macro changes to the what, where, why, when and how we communicate and share our opinions and our lives. In social media, everyone is like your first college roommate... a stranger whose life is suddenly exposed to you bit by bit as you spend more time together, sharing more and more tidbits of both the mundane and the meaningful. Over time, the bits (and in our case, bytes) of information shape your perception of the person and make them "real" and before long that stranger is no longer strange, and in fact, has become a friend. Is that any different than what happens on Twitter and Facebook? By the time you go to an event or a "Tweet Up" and meet someone you have been following or have befriended for a while, you are already virtual roommates and well on your way to becoming true friends.


Now that we have such a powerful and simple ability to reach an audience (and an audience is someone who is listening to YOU, whether it is one person or one thousand). If you write in a blog, Tweet something, or Utter something, or post a video on Seesmic or YouTube or Write on a Wall on Facebook and SOMEONE responds, then you have succeeded and your ego will have been stroked. But is Social Media like trees falling in the woods? If you post something on your blog and the comment meter remains on "0" does that mean nobody can hear it? How does that make you feel? Do you gauge your Twitter tweets by how many @yourname responses you get? Do you feel disappointed or even slighted if you craft a clever 140 character mini-manifesto and see it drift away with the current of the Twitter stream without making a single @you ripple? Honestly... I do! Thanks to our egos I think we all crave feedback. Perhaps even a negative comment is more satisfying than silence. Perhaps it is our ego driven nature that has unconsciously built the infrastructure of Social Media and on-line "community" around channels of linking, commenting, tracking, sharing and re-posting. What do you think?

So, now that we are "roommates," please feel free to stroke my ego by commenting on this blog post and sharing and linking to your heart's delight! And yes, this blog IS about you!

Photo Credit: Albo -