Choosing Personal Brand For The New Economy

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 07/10/2013

Warning: this post falls somewhere in between a rambling daily journal technical minutiae post, and a well thought out and expressed idea. Bottom line, I got to go squat on all the most-important resources for a new identity I just decided to use instead of MikeLev.in—which I’ll use. But I need something more colorful and descriptive if I want to go inside the tornado, per Geoffrey Moore. All the little details need to be just-so, and while MikeLev.in will make quite a good root location “/” for my identity, my first /home/username will be /home/GIJewyork.

GIJewyork

Read on to see my thoughts on the matter and the steps I took.

Okay, I want to make sure I actually push this idea out today, so I’m actually typing it directly into WordPress in a web browser. And so I begin typing, and so the day begins. That’s going to be one of the ongoing themes of my site. The incredible usefulness of actually typing, and what it means, and what it conveys. I feel similarly about continuously hand-writing, which in its own increasingly retro way, becoming really bad-ass and a great old-school hack. If you want to keep your information off the cloud and really keep secrets—I mean REALLY keep secrets, then you hand-write them onto a non-digital paper journal. Actually deposit ink or graphite onto paper. It’s very high tech. The graphite trail that you’re leaving is actually little shards of micro-entangled graphene. If you’re going the graphine route, you have the additional feature of being able to “slide off” all the graphene to return the paper t0 near initial state with the use of a specific material-propertied tool—called an eraser.

The end result of using such hard-core old-school implements is a readily photo-captured piece of paper with your ideas encoded onto it. The resolution of the encoded message is not lost by virtue of looking at a photo of the original versus the original. But this way, you created a rare, collectible artifact (encoded in and graphite marks on dead tree carcass) AND you have your idea captured in a secure format that others can’t pick up with a Google search, even if it leaks—which it won’t—because Levinux will also be teaching you information discipline. There’s a sort of kung fu developing at this website with information and Levinux and planning for technological advancement. and the education of my daughter.

I made a journal entry similar to this yesterday that I am very proud of, but which sort of ran out of control, and had to be brought back into Apple Notes for further refinement and chopping back down to size. Today, I wanted to make sure the idea got out, so I actually typed it right here in WordPress, and kept it from excessively rambling. I’m looking for my personal brand identity that can help catapult me forward over these next 20 years, as I try to be a pioneer in global automation and communication tool usage.  And I don’t think MikeLev.in is going to do it for me. Sure it’s an awesome URL and I’ll keep it. MikeLev.in/ux will probably always be where I give out Levinux. But I need something that says a lot about me… my Mission… my goals. My role in this world and how I see myself. And the shirt my wife got me recently does it.

It says G.I. Jew - A Real American Hebrew. The response has been great. I would be a moron to not recognize a freebe—an auto re-building core of an identity snowball to get rolling down a hill. Problem is, it’s already on a T-shirt, and the Twitter handle is taken—albeit inactive. And there’s no way in hell I’m approaching that person. People like power. Don’t let that long-bet by some Twitter-handle squatting jackass give him power… so… I’m… G.I. Jewyork—in the tradition of Jewyorican. And so is born a viable husband-wife identity where I can look like the warrior into the next 20 years of technology acceleration, rather than a throwback to the 80’s… which I also am… but G.I. Jewyork will be both.

Creating a new identity 101. Step 1: Grab Twitter handle. Opt for a powerful Twitter username that is not already taken, which closely aligns to your Mission or Plan, or is just so darn cute or memorable that it can overcome not saying something about you. Not every personal brand has the marketing might of Bell Atlantic to rebrand itself Verizon. Choose it carefully. I choose GIJewyork. It’s available. I got it.

Step 2: Grab the gmail. This is actually your unified login across all Google properties, including your analytics, Google+ and YouTube. So choose it well. Google Plus will be ascending in importance until reputation as contained in Google+ is the new SEO. You need high profile, neck-on-the-line endorsements-by-association from the domain experts in your space. Small units of crowdsourcing organized by iteratively crowdsourced reputation scores-for-domains. See? You are an expert on the following, along with your 1 to 10 score in each subject: {“Levinux”: 10, ”Marketing Technologist”: 8, ”Communication Skills”: 7, “Eductation”: 6, ”Linux and Unix”: 6, “QEMU”: 6} and so on. I believe this is not so far off the mark for the a Google-colored future.

Okay, so here’s how that goes. First, Google is going to continue to be a great world-shaping success. They are leveraging their last accomplishments to rebirth themselves as the next—in potentially entirely different businesses than search. Or at least, it’s a stretch to call it part of search—as maps and navigation once were. See? You just wrap everything in for a type of life that can be seen in one of two ways. It’s either a formulaic corporate branded approach to life of the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Post WWII economic and population boom when GE owned NBC and Westinghouse owned CBS. Dem’s was different days. You could be corporately programmed from cradle to grave. And the intertubes ended all that.

That is, until Apple, Google, Amazon, and a few other wildcard players get their act together and pull off some really nifty cradle-to-grave programming. And that’s ONE way of viewing the future Google has in store for us. The other way of viewing it is Google providing all the infrastructure and a perfect marketplace for whatever it is you have to sell—so long as Google gets its cut for providing the network, regardless of whether it’s getting you to pay for Advertising, direct access to topically opted-in prospects, a chance to pitch them in speed-date marketing (the future of the commercial), or just outright paying Google for high priority and un-cluttered with ads access to their communication and computing resources. Once they get that value prop down and the corporate formula actually starts to look pretty good at the individual freedom and entrepreneurial opportunity level… then goodbye 5-day workweek. The new economy will be upon us.

And THAT’S the future I’m preparing for… for the next 20 years, at least. And that’s the future I’m preparing my daughter Adiella to grow up into. It’s an optimistic view of the future, dependent on the super-mega companies… well, not being evil. Everyone loves to tease Google about being evil. There’s paranoid ramblings around the role of Eric Schmidt and information-sharing with the US government, which has demonstrated its willingness to stop on what should be sovereign rights when they downed and searched Bolivia’s president’s plane. Way to go, Obama. Way to have almost successfully avoided Bush-caliber embarrassment until your second term was over. But let’s face it. The ability to have things like Google is what the national security cloak of unaccountability is about. If you like Google, you have to swallow a bit of non-personal evil. It’s just a matter of who administers the foul medicine—the US government for security or Google for commercial reasons.

Evil happens. If you want to have a personal online brand that is your platform for collecting resources to live, and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in general, then you’re going to have to choose which devil to dance with. Hey, dance with all 3, so long as learning each’s dance isn’t so complex that it demands a lifetime of focused commitment. We are in the earliest days of the lock-you-in dance. Don’t get locked in, and don’t become consumer-tech dependent. Go through hacker-education. Know how to reboot society if you ever needed to, but work on never having to. That’s Levinux. That’s the Levinux education and Levinux way. All the Mason shit without all the fancied up bullshit pretense.

Builders build. They take pride in their tools, and some know how to smelt their tools from ore. You don’t have to. All you need to be is an expert chooser of tools, and an expert wielder of tools. You also need to be an expert securer of the tools you need. We are all Batman equipping our utility belt for life. And so, I choose my devils. Google is one big important devil to dance with, so securing the gmail address / Google Plus account is number two.

Step 3: Get the domain! Don’t go overboard. Get the .com and .org. Explore really short URLs using clever TLDs like I did with MikeLev.in. Don’t get hung up on them. Dot com is plenty. Dot org is good if you plan a non-commercial component, which I do. Secured. Even in this age of choosing your devil to dance with, and elevating the importance of your long, cryptic Google Plus profile URL, it’s still important to maintain your agreed-upon by the entire Internet home—a registered domain name. You can do a lot with these registered domain names. It could even be used for a Tumblr site. So merely by buying into the registration and domain name system, you’re not necessarily opting out of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. You’re just making a common URL everything can use in your profile as your “home URL” without creating a needless dependency on a particular platform other than the Internet itself. Domain name is a quick high priority third after Twitter and Google+.

Ah, what about Facebook? Yes, something that’s an identity to be subscribed-to and followed as if a human being. An online brand is not a fan page. A fan page is for an object that is not a human being. A product fan page was appropriate for Levinux, but will not be appropriate for a brand identity and online persona whose actions and foibles must/will be followed. So, for Facebook future-looking personal brand stuff, we will create an artist/brand or public figure. You just type: Create New Page into graph-search, and choose the first Create New Page option. Well, Facebook got that right. Then, you click the Create Page option in the upper-right. You do this under your default “real identity” Facebook login. That’s just the way things are these days. I will make myself a Teacher with the name GIJewyork. The important thing is to get the short, customized URL. Get that Facebook web address. If you chose your name well (all one word, no spaces) then it will be auto filled in at what is currently step 3 of the Facebook Page Setup procedure.

Okay, so my Facebook Page is the type of thing you set up for a famous public figure. That’s what I plan on becoming, even if I am not yet now. And Teacher is probably the closest thing to what I want to become famous for. And Facebook makes managing those types of pages very easy, switching between different Page personas still under one umbrella real identity login. It’s amazing that sort of thing is really being pulled off the way security and state works in web browsers. A cookie-based single login I get. But to have a parent-child relationship of logins and a currently logged in as status, and to have all your access and abilities modified for such… well, that’s a pretty big accomplishment for Facebook. One Identity to rule them all. Helps a lot with their graph. I wonder who has access to that sort of Brand Page hierarchical relationship with their people.

Okay, so there’s the bottom-line of this post. The new economy is being created by companies like Apple, Google and Amazon, requires the establishing of personal brand so you can have someone people want to send money to. Apple’s already there today with iTunes and the App Store. It’ll be extended to other types of products and services—even ones that can’t necessarily be delivered digitally. So, this new economy, even though it poses a scary cradle-to-grave consumer domination the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Westinghouse/CBS, GE/NBC combo, is still a good bit. It’s not evil. It’s just human nature amplified and accelerated in increasingly perfect markets that take a cut… and I’ll buy that. Than you for the infrastructure. Just add awesomeness.

And so, implementation on these infrastructures is my thing—while holding back the most secret bits in hardware and virtual machines under your direct control.

With such a scenario, you can do some crazy-ass apps, like trans-generational time-capsuling and such.

And I really plan on following through on my favorite of these crazy apps to create some GIJewyork tribe.

And as microcurrency and such finally falls into place, I will be rewarded.

There will be levels of Levinux/GIJewyork awesomeness being offered, such as access to my personal time as a resource. And that will be how I ultimately transition into the new economy. I’ll never be a Peter Drucker, demanding $100K per personal consultation. But maybe I can do $1000 per for online all-day Hangout-like sessions.