Shortly after I finished my dissection of the terms and conditions for three of my most used sites, I came across a post written by Darren Rowse over at Problogger.net that talks about “Home Bases and Outposts.” It is interesting that these posts went up on the same day because while Darren’s and my posts fundamentally differed with the premise and purpose of the articles, we both hit on a topic that many bloggers, videographers and podcasters should be quite interested in. It is the concept of a “home base” – a term both Darren and I used in our posts.
In my post on owning your own content, I cautioned any user of social media products/services to be aware of the terms governing their content on third party sites and recommended that they simply build their own brands separately and use these sites as complementary to their own “home base.”
Darren references a presentation by Chris Brogan where he talks during a brief few minutes about building a personal brand and using outposts in your media strategy. I included some points that Chris makes and I agree with are below:
- Home base is your blog/website. Not everyone needs a blog. But most people who want to develop a personal brand do.
- Your “About” page should be about you AND your business, should the blog be professional in nature. At least, it should be about you.
- Make sure it’s easy to comment on your site.
- Make sure it’s easy for people to subscribe to your site’s content.
- Use easy to read fonts and colors.
- A site laden with ads is a site that doesn’t cherish its audience. Be thoughtful.
The key is that, simply put, social networking sites for someone interested in building their personal brand should be secondary locations (or outposts)… This is actually something that I lost focus on over the past year-plus. I do spend a lot of time on Twitter, but I have moved a lot of my efforts back to this site over the past few weeks. It hasn’t been an easy transition, but in terms of personal brand recognition, to me it means everything.
In retrospect, I spent a lot of time building a brand that is now simply a memory – only accessible via cached Google searches and Archive.org. I learned a lot during those times and while I would do much of it the same, there is much that I would change – case in point being neglecting my “home base.”
Thanks Chris for going further into detail about this theory of “home bases” better than I ever could.