Dear bloggers: Networkers network. Everybody else just shouts!

I had an awesome conversation on IM this morning with Sara from SuburbanOblivion about networking and bloggers and with her permission I’ve shared this gem of segment with you guys.

Sara: who says we have no power? 😉

me: nobody did

The problem lies with the definition of “we”

Sara: ?

do tell

me: We is a collective term

99% of individual bloggers have no power

Sara: very true

me: So really.. that 99% have no right to the term we

It’s that 1% that they latch on to 😉

LOL

Sorry.. just taking a provocative stance here

Sara: lol

nothing new

me: because it fits with what’s going though my brain at the minute

Sara: and I will say, one this this ‘collective’ is good at is networking and community

its not a matter of latching on, its a matter of building relationships

me: LOL.. 90% of bloggers do not build relationships

They latch on

Like junk floating in space

they latch onto the nearest big object that stays still long enough

Sara: maybe in your experience

me: The problem is that most bloggers just want to be heard..

They do not want to do the networking

they invest neither the time nor the work needed

The people who attend conferences and actually network are the minority

Sara: that doesn’t have to be done at conferences

me: No it doesn’t I never said that

Sara: I have a buttload of bloggers I email back ad forth with on a personal basis regularly

me: Yes you do.. and so do I..

get the point yet?

Networkers tend to network

Sara: and sites like Facebook and twitter make it even easier to get to know and keep in touch

me: They tend to be connected to other networkers

It doesn’t matter that the tools are there to be used..

Look at facebook, twitter, myspace, linked in..

friendfeed etc..

Look at your contacts

Sara: ok..

me: I’d wager that 75% or more of your contacts are the same on all of these networks

Networkers tend to network with other networks

er.. networkers

You have to look beyond that sphere

Sara: to a degree

me: You’re a networker and are connected to other networkers

Sara: never thought of it that way

I’m a blogger, and I like to get to know people

readers, potential readers

other friends too though 🙂

me: Yeah I know..

At the end of the day it really comes down to that old saying .. “birds of a feather flock together”

Sara: it IS networking, and I swear moms are a natural at that, but I’ve always thought the term ‘networker’ more as a business thing

if that makes any sense at all

likely not

me: Yeah I know

Sara: lol

At the end of the day, those of us that are part of the conversation are those of us who have the mind-set to network with and converse with others.

Everybody else, no matter what title they assign themselves is just another piece of flotsam washed up on the shore of the community they claim to be a part of.

Defining yourself – It’s not so easy!

We are all proponents of the art of self branding. We all practice it every single day, most of us without even realizing it.

We all makes choices everyday where the resulting outcome is a much an extension of our personality than any logical thought process.

We all have a basic need to define ourselves, our place in the world and our role within our various social circles.

We crave acceptance but also individuality and all our choices are ultimately guided by this.

Do you drink wine or beer? Buy Nike or Adidas trainers? Shop in bargain stores or stick to the big name stores or do you like to thrall the thrift shops in search of that something unique?

If you take the economic factor out of it, the choices that we make ultimately become a matter of personality and the image we wish to portray of ourselves.

Everything we do and say, purchase or visit, listen too, or consume is an extension of our inner urge to be what we want others to see us as.

Some of us are comfortable with ourselves, so these choices are easy and are an actual extension of ourselves.

For others, unfortunately, the quest to discover "themselves" is ongoing and those choices are ultimately an attempt to build the image we want others to see.

At the end of the day, it’s all a public portrayal of what we want our "inner me" to be perceived as.

In the end we are creating a brand, just like Apple, Microsoft, Ferrari, Skoda, Madonna or Coca Cola with the exception being that the product is you (or me).

This extends onto the internet as well.

Look at your blog.

What theme are you using, have you customized (or attempted to customize it), what avatars do you have, what color scheme are you using?

You get the point I’m trying to make here.

So, considering I was sitting here contemplating this very topic this morning (while asking folk on twitter what color shirt I should wear)I was surprised to see a post by Sara (a fellow Fuelmyblog writer who will be joining us at SOBCon08 in Chicago), which was provoked by a question she heard on the radio.

If you had to get a tattoo today that was one word or picture that would sum up your life or personality, what would it be?

Awesome question, right? It’s something that certainly requires a lot of thought.

To be honest with you guys, I’ve been thinking about this all morning and haven’t got a suitable single word to sum myself up.

I have come up with a word for how I see my future life – "rapture". I’ll leave you guys to figure out how that fits in on your own!

Yet defining myself now, I couldn’t come up with a word (I’ve been spending so long speaking Danish I think my English vocabulary is waning) so instead had to define myself by an image.

Ultimately I don’t think this image (which is the motif from my favorite tie) would ever make a good tattoo, but what can you do?

Black white sheep red tie 

So, dear O’Flaherty readers, what is it that that best defines you as a person?