Identity Groundwork

Today I am making a commitment to 100 posts in 100 days. I’ll be using those 100 posts to explore how my personality and my values can be a foundation for my “brand,” as reflected in my blog and what I do on the Internet.

Why?

For the journey. To backtrack, here’s a quote from yesterday’s post:

Symbolic expressions of values: what are they and where do they come from?

Here, I could postulate. I could make knowledgeable-sounding lists and generalizations. I’m not going to do that because what I really want to know is what the process of exploring meaning is like, for me, blogging and in my flesh and blood life. After exploring I’d feel more genuine about defining, though getting to finite definitions wouldn’t be the point: I want the broadening experience of a journey.

I have a slightly crazy idea.

What if I committed to making 100 meaning-of life posts?

Ritual, Manners, Branding, Identity

Ok, Ok, there are also practical applications to consider.

Here’s my acid test for if a dream (or a slightly crazy idea) should become a goal, or be backed by a specific plan.

The dream is:

  1. Reachable – logistically possible.
  2. Peaceable – a purely subjective gut level judgment.
  3. Wise – practical, productive and in line with my other goals.

Let’s start with Wise

Branding is a good thing. Under the skin, branding is more than colors and shapes for a logo or a business card. Branding is all about values. Branding is how a company communicates their personality. Branding is like body language in that it demonstrates what can be expected. Trust and engagement are more possible if the personality of the entity and that of the target market are in sync.

If I were developing this site for a client, I would start with a study of the brand (personality, culture) of the client’s business and how that can connect with the client’s goals and target audience.

Since this is my site, I am free to choose to develop it for myself. As a business, starting with the me-me-me isn’t a hot idea. There has to be a connection to a purpose, a way to demonstrate understanding and fulfillment of brand promise. There again, I am at an advantage: putting my “me” where my mouth is can become part of my brand.

One of my pet peeves is sites that try to look like somebody, in order to fit in or impress somebody else. The result is superficial, untrustworthy and disappointing. By starting out this way I’m doing the opposite. I am choosing to share how I’d encourage any small business to develop their brand identity: focus on what a target audience cares about is more effective while also knowing your own “wow” values, your identity. This can lead to the most productive and genuine ways to connect with a target audience.

Moving on to Housekeeping

Part of turning a dream into a goal, and a goal into a plan, is taking it seriously, and part of that is doing the housekeeping. Cleanup time.

The seasonal icons are now gone. I chose not to update them because I don’t want to be limited to one image per category. I want more art in my everyday life, and making images for that space could be part of that, if I leave that space open.

This blog is now my home page. There are three reasons why that makes sense.

First, the blog is where the action is. The home page should be a focus of action, not a place to get through on one’s way to the action.

Second, there is no compelling reason to separate the blog from the home page. Because I am self-hosted and have design skills, I can tweak the home page to make a space for more than one kind of action, when I want this site to do more in the future.

Third, Technorati has me listed under both ablereach.com and ablereach.com/blog, and those two are reacting to each other. Googling around revealed multiple tales of woe from others dealing with the same situation. Technorati can combine accounts, but that’s no guarantee of a long term fix. The same general issues apply to link juice. By combining “home” and “blog,” I take control of my own solution.

Until Tomorrow!

There is more I could write about tonight, but it’s after midnight here and I have arrived at my personal “enough.”

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