After we had each explained, or refrained from explaining, why we had come out on an unusually chilly late October night to seek digital education, LeMasney launched into his pitch for his course. (Did he really need this part of the presentation? After all, we were already there. )
He told us the advantages of going online. He extolled the ease and breadth of WordPress, how adaptable it was to e-book publishing (this with a nod to me and the good-looking blonde behind me — the two putative authors in his group), and especially how easily it could enable us to shape our online material to our purpose.
Which was was to market our brands. Brands? Yes, indeed. And not just our professional brands but our personal ones.
“Marketing” and “brands” are not good words to use with me. Okay, If you have a business, which I never did and never will, or a commercial skill on which you rely for your earned income, you do have to keep current, know how to reach your target market, maybe even have what is now referred to as a “brand,” at least for the business. And like that.
(Pre-internet, we used to do it with networking, CVs, cover letters and postage stamps. Even so, I was so glad when I finally got to retire!)
But market your personal brand? What’s that? The way people see you? The way you want people to see you? Is your personal brand a falsehood you create to make people like you, read you, listen to you? (Friend you, follow you, tweet you?) Why should you want to show yourself as someone you aren’t? Why should you have to work at it? When did the personal become professional? With the advent of People Magazine? Managers? PR people?
Is it unwise to venture online without a manager, or a coach (like LeMasney), to protect you from something jumping up to bite you in the ass? Maybe it is. In that event, maybe I shouldn’t be here in Room 132 on a chilly Thursday night. Maybe I should just forget the whole thing.
But I am not disruptive by nature, however rebellious my thoughts. I stay in my seat and say nothing. And then we all get online with Princeton High School’s I.D. and password, and go to http://www.wordpress.com. That chews up about ten more minutes right there, during which time I distract myself from being angry by watching the husband to my right. He is having all kinds of trouble. But he is dogged; on the other hand, the wife seems, with a charming little giggle, to have just given up. LeMasney suggests they work together on one screen, as if that was going to speed things up for them.
At last we move on. We are all going to try to create a username that passes muster with WordPress. You’d be surprised at how many bright ideas produce a “Try again.” I finally settle for the one the system suggests. Since it’s my real name, at least I’ll be able to remember it. On to the password!
But I must be boring you. I am beginning to bore myself. So let’s wind it up for now. See you in Learning to Blog: 1-7, where I vent some more — this time about passwords.