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Paradox: Your Web presence isn’t really about you

August 13, 2009

…but it kind of is. “Personal branding guru” @danschawbel explained it pretty well earlier today:

Promoting other people actually helps promote you in the process.

It’s paradoxical, but it’s not really that hard to grasp: The more you promote people/ideas/etc. (and the more you become known for promoting good people/ideas/etc.), the more likely it is people will keep coming back to you for the latest insight on what they need to know. Jay Rosen explains this (essentially) probably better than anyone in his (now famous?) “Ethic of the Link” speech:

It’s just like real life: No one wants to listen to a guy talk about how awesome he thinks he is. People are out looking to help themselves (they need a job, want to learn to code, etc.) and if you point them to helpful information, they’re likely to remember you and come back. Thatthe return trip—is when you come into the equation and make a connection with someone else who may be able to help you.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2009 8:05 pm

    This is akin to Bill Clinton’s First Rule of Politics: Never talk about yourself.

  2. August 13, 2009 8:33 pm

    Though he may have wanted to update that rule last year: Never talk about yourself…or your wife. It didn’t exactly win the (Hillary) Clinton campaign a whole lot of fans when Bill went on the attack for her.

    There may be a parallel with blogging there, too: Maybe it’s just me, but blogging too often about your friends/kids/etc. … no thanks.

  3. August 14, 2009 9:24 am

    Thanks, Paul.

    “People come back to places that send them away. Memorize that one.” — Dave Winer. Another way to say it.

  4. August 14, 2009 10:10 am

    @Jay – Thanks—something tells me I’m going to be beating this drum for a while … the more wisdom, the better.


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