Self-Branding with a Blog

by Patrick Kammermeyer on May 2, 2013

privateHow often do you think about self-branding?

Most of us probably don’t think about it all that often. And yet, it seems that we are almost always engaged in it, whether or not we realize it. We brand ourselves a little each time we post or comment on FaceBook, or send a Tweet, or reply to a discussion on a forum, or even send a mass email. Our online brand is constantly evolving each time we interact with social media of one type or another.

The problem is that we have relatively little control over how our brand is packaged. The dispersive nature of most social media can often make it difficult to present a complete and rich representation of our brand in one place. Our ability to really control many of these social media is limited, sometimes leading to a skewed or distorted version of our brand.

So what can we do about it?

Educators are beginning to take some control of their branding by establishing their own blogs. A blog can be a simple and modest endeavor. It can be an easy way to keep a thought journal for your own reference; something that simply documents a process (even just an extended thought process) for you to come back to and examine. Or, it can be a much more ambitious project that invites others to post and comment and engage in a discussion. At both ends of this spectrum, it remains a place for you to create and manage your brand. And, it becomes an easy one-stop reference for others wishing to know your brand.

There are many of these types of blogs in the academic realm, but I’ll just point to a few of my current favorites as examples:

  • Steve Wheeler has been blogging for a long time and I’ve always enjoyed his posts. Recently he changed to a new format that I particularly like: Steve Wheeler
  • Chris Betcher writes about education, technology, and just plain old good ideas at Betchablog
  • This is one of my newest favorites. It’s written by a team of two. These are two folks you may know. The blog is called MathsAndArts and it is written by Kennedy Library’s own Karen Lauritsen and David Beales.

There are many choices for blog platforms, but the 3 most popular are Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress. All 3 are free, easy to set up, and come with multiple free themes. The free option may be a good choice for folks who’d like to test the waters. You can try it for a few months and see if it’s your thing without any investment but time.

WordPress also has the option to download their platform at WordPress.org and host your blog wherever you choose, without any restrictions. This allows you to establish and register your own domain name, use whatever theme you wish, and have complete control over customization of the website. This option has modest costs involved ($10-15/year for domain registration; and $85-120/year for hosting) but it gives complete control and ownership of your blog.

Either option will allow you to establish and manage your brand, your way.

Creative Commons photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andercismo/2349098787/

 

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