Recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to push myself a little further. What’s my schtick? What’s my personal brand look like? How do I get myself a little bit closer to the Donald Trump level of public awareness I was so sure I’d have attained by now when I was a kid looking at the Lamborghini and Honda S2000 posters on my walls. Essentially, how do I go about telling people how great I am, without so much looking like a giant douche.
Coming from a small town where showiness was frowned upon, and being modest kept you firmly in your place of stability, I’ve found I’ve never been so good at this since moving to the ‘big city’.
This new site from MIT (and a trip to Cambridge) helped me get thinking about it. It’s called Personas, you can visit it at http://personas.media.mit.edu/. It essentially is a “how the interweb sees you” report. Type your name, or a corporate brand, in and it will give you the 8,000 foot view of you. Kind of creepy.
Here’s what MIT thinks of me, my brand now:
I’m skeptical, is this really me? Let’s look at it:
Online – Yes, I hope so, I’ve spent a good deal of time I’m never getting back online. I think this block should be bigger.
Travel – Um, okay. I’ll bite. I like to travel, but who doesn’t. It’s small, so I won’t argue it.
Books – Again, well, I’ve read books before, so… sure.
Fame – As I noted above, I also spent a lot of time believing I’d be famous. The size of this section represents how famous I am.
Sports – Yep, I’m pretty much a jock. This one makes me happy.
Management – I’m a project manager by title, and have been for a long time. I was an ops manager before CM, Management deserves this real estate. Good job MIT.
Genealogy – Buzz. Wrong. Don’t know how to spell it, let alone do I think this is a big part of me. But maybe there’s a bunch of Genealogists out there talking about me on forums. Talking about how sporty and famous I am. I need to self google.
Aggression – Damn, really? (Insert crickets)
Medicine – My mom always thought I should have been a doctor. Maybe this is my mom writing in a “What My Kids Could Have Been” forum?
Media – Not sure how to analyze this one. I’ve been quoted in media articles before, I’ve worked in online media, but this one is a little puzzling.
Education – Over half my life in school and all I got was this little strip? What a let down.
Movies – I love movies. How did you know this MIT? I’m closing my blinds now.
Domestic – Okay, no. Not so much. Have you seen my house lately Good Will Hunting?
News – I think this relates to Fame. Maybe this one being bigger then fame is a sign that I’m on my way up to places.
Illegal – Really officer, I’ve never been arrested and I didn’t inhale. I swear. Can I sue MIT for libel?
Social – Very.
Professional – A little.
Art – I’m fancy.
Design – The size of this bar seems appropriate. As though the creative directors at work created this one just for me.
Accident – Mom, did you tell MIT something you didn’t tell me?
And that’s me. According to Good Will Hunting himself over at MIT. Not too far off, and some pretty damn cool technology. I’m interested to see what things pop into this over the next year.
As much as I don’t think we should have to ‘answer’ to others or care about what other people think, leaving a positive impression on people you know, and maybe more importantly, don’t know, can be pretty important in life. Also, before you go to a job interview, how many employers will Google you? I would assume they all would, I can’t say when I did hiring I didn’t sometimes have my mind made up based on a Facebook profile. Sorry, but it’s the truth (the designer I didn’t hire who was drinking from a funnel with no shirt on is still not a regret). This is a cool little tool for that, a nice Interweb impartial mirror.
This would be a good 1 year follow up post.