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Watch your words

10 March 2008

SXSW Interactive continues in Texas, and amid the announcements of party attendance, hangovers, and meetups, some insightful stuff does bubble to the top. Tiff Fehr, a smart and talented Digital Web Magazine staffer, posted about her experiences on day three of the conference. The final point she makes is an excellent one for anyone in the public eye, whether a writer, a software developer, or even a curmudgeon — you are your brand. Remember this when you post to social networks.

People who are interested in your work will look at your blog, sure. But they’ll also look at your Flickr pictures, your Facebook comments, your Twitter tweets. All those together build onto any brand that you intentionally try to develop for yourself. That can work really well for you, supplementing your corporate identity with a bit of humanity or humor or dynamism. But it can also torpedo the hard work you’ve done to establish a brand in the first place. Sure, you might look respectable on your blog, but when your Flickr feed is full of dog fights and you shoot off your foul mouth in your YouTube phonecam videos, you’re not doing your brand any favors. And by extension, you’re not helping your business, whether you work for yourself or someone else.

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