Everyday Branding

I’ve been reading more of the book on creating your “brand”. I can’t use all of it, but there are some highly useful concepts in there.

Theophilus, in asking about Vash, is actually requesting something of a brand description for “Vash“. We do that all the time, look for short-hand to get a handle on people and concepts. It is a physical process actually, the reticular formation of the brain at work.

Branding Web Presence

I was thinking about my ‘web presence’, ahem, such as it is, on the internet horizon (that miniscule blip…oops! you missed it), as I was reading the book. My website started as a desire to do something creative from long-lost artistic leanings and to share some of the hard-won practical knowledge in the important areas of my life. Sparked by a need to to keep tabs on my wayward, but computer-genius, son.

So Ilona’s Reflecting Pool grew and evolved; it had the parameter of concentrating on the “whatsoever is lovely” of Philippians 4:8. It is filled with experimentation in graphics, layout, topics, and is a mix of copying what I admire and producing things of my own origination. It is a collage of expression.

And out of that grew ‘truegrit’ (this blog).

This design is more stable and businesslike, which is why I so wanted the MT mode of blogging. It is clear and serious, which fits how I want to be expressed here. Want playful? I have a blog for that… and I am trying to have separation of intent, which I find is useful for the web…. but I always break my own rules.

Truegrit grew because not everything in this life is “lovely”, but in order to produce the lovely , one needs to address the corrections of ‘wrong’ and ‘faulty’. It is the present incarnation of my old “Opinions” page, in which it should appear in an iframe. Which itself was stimulated by participation in the forums. ( that brings me to Vash, and forum life…..)

Comparing brands

…. and how affection and respect can break the barriers.

I want Vash to describe herself, but I can give you her labeled identity vs. my label identity.

We met on my first visit to a Delphi Forum, the old “ExWitch”, which is no more. I went there by way of a featured url on a Christian newsletter.

Vash quickly became something of a Nemesis for me there. She is young, I am old. She is atheist ‘by name’, and I am ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ ( but be careful-I have a different definition than many of you in this). She is Socialist- left in politics, I am mostly conservative. She is smarter than I am, but I have more life experience.

We have duked it out on many an issue. My profile is stubborn endurance, hers is piercing, belly-finding probes. You’d better be real with Vash on the boards, but that is a little like me. I like her, I value her input.

She’s seen me go through my usual track of becoming a lightening rod, occasionally incinerated. I think she feels some pity, and so has become kind to me. It is one of the few long-lasting online relationships I have experienced.

There’s much more if you go into detailed analysis, like thinking style of INTP, and stuff like that, but that is peripheral here. forums no longer give me the satisfaction of new stimuli, which is one reason I spent time there. I also have an undercurrent of the web being a type of ministry. In my terms of what that is for me…. and the forums that elicited that dried up or fossilized…or something. Imploded, maybe.

I learned much about how to, and how not to, communicate with people. Always one of my weak points.

How many dead-ends there are in debate of the issues is another illustration the forum format provides.

People often believe what they want to believe. but there are some sincere seekers out there. And those are the ones that interest me. And I am a die-hard when it comes to believing that discussion will accomplish more than propaganda. I very much want to leave my world a better place for having existed here. The web offers possibilities for that.

Forums, Lists, Blogosphere, Website-Surfing are all different communities with intersecting boundaries. So far, blogging is the wave of now. It is where you are most likely to find truly intelligent commentary and genuine respectful interaction. There’s lots of hooey, too, but that is life, you know?

Anyway…. enough blogging.

Make it Public

Announcement of quitting a forum really drew my interest, posted by Theophilus. I spent much time in that venue and came away with a few opinions and some lessons from those experiences. I recommend reading all through the comments following Theo.’s post … many worthwhile observations. After all, we are observers of our culture on these blogs, right? That is part of the draw.

In my own experience…..
Let’s see…how much do I want to tell? Where’s Vash? I trust she won’t mind if I share some things that include her.
Continue reading Make it Public

Thoughts on a Book, “Make A Name For Yourself”

At the library today I picked up a book on a whim. I often do that. Usually I get gardening books or books on a certain subject I need to study for some odd reason, but every once in a awhile an odd topic will attract my eye and I will pick up the book.

Once picked up, it is soon read.

The Book, “Make A Name For Yourself”

This particular book is called ‘Make A Name For Yourself’ by Robin Roffer.

Make a Name for Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Needs to Create a Personal Brand Strategy for Success

Admittedly, my website endeavors are the motivation for reading this book, because face it, I am all over the place with my website subjects, style, and opinions. I am easily distracted.

So in the interest of shaping up the focus of my websites, I borrowed the book.

It turns out to be sort of a self discovery book. It asks you to think of yourself in terms of your strengths and “core” qualities. I would think that would be easy for me, but I am finding myself a little non-plussed.

Sometimes I kid about reworking the identity thing that was supposed to be resolved in one’s twenties. But it is too close to what I am actually doing. I am sometimes still asking the Who Am I? question. I find that slightly ridiculous. I’ve lived most of my life. Two-thirds with the threescore and ten measure.

But maybe I am not so much ‘reworking’ as further refining the definition. And you know how I love definition.

I must start asking those closest to me which characteristics are most definitively “me” in their estimation. I am so about “me”. But you can’t really relate to others well if you don’t have any idea what “you” are. Well. Introverts can’t, anyway.

Character Traits

Here are a few of the traits:

Personal values:

authenticity success generosity love honesty kindness loyalty community connectedness courage ethics inspiration appreciation growth warmth …. etc.

Attributes Prized in the Workplace:

accomplishment accountability ambition analytical assertiveness cheerfulness competence competitiveness cooperation creativity decisiveness dedication dependability initiative determination ….. etc “

Further, Roffer takes personalities that we see as brands, like Madoona, I mean Madonna, Martha Stewart ( pre-trial ), and Oprah and analyzes their “brand qualities”.

Applied To Me

Interesting stuff. About the only thing I have thus identified about me is ‘authenticity’, which I have incorporated into the blog here…. because that is one of my core values, to be authentic whether in a good or bad way: WYSIWYG.

I don’t much like surprises as in being disappointed that someone is not who they presented themselves to be. And I don’t like to be misrepresented, myself.

Although sometimes we accidentally do that- even when making efforts otherwise.

Anyway, I am not very far into the book, it could be enlightening or merely entertaining….. if it inspires further thought, I’ll post.

and if I get REALLY inspired I’ll create a logo 🙂

just what the world needs, eh?

God does Strange Things

I recently read a testimony of a Christian, Peter, that while more extreme than many, had numerous things that I remember from many testimonies of those sorts of Christians that have complete life-changing conversions from the time I was also saved.

It has a few similarities to my own conversion -which is online, here.

Peter said something simple, but affecting:

“I had discovered why the early Christians freely lay down their lives for their faith, it is a precious thing to know and be known by Jesus.”

It is a precious thing. That is the best way to put it.

I flounder about for words… but there it is. People want God to be quite regular, but the truth is that God does Strange Things. A New Thing.

Isaiah 48

5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you;
Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you,
Lest you should say, “My idol has done them,
And my carved image and my molded image
Have commanded them.’

6 “You have heard;
See all this.
And will you not declare it?
I have made you hear new things from this time,
Even hidden things, and you did not know them.
7 They are created now and not from the beginning;
And before this day you have not heard them,
Lest you should say, “Of course I knew them.’