Thursday 15 July 2010

Thinking About The Internet and Branding

I wrote before about my thoughts on the Internet and especially around marketing. It is a great way to build a brand and what better brand to sell than yourself.

I don’t easily articulate my brand but do embrace the Internet as part of it. I was slow to get into blog posts, face book and twitter and when I did there was trepidation, how should I segment them?

As well as the ‘who would I invite to my house’ decision for face book (and there are one or two who need to be removed), I have the same 'work or leisure' issue around the blog. In fact I have 3 blogs and may well start a forth soon. This blog it about my professional life, about the work I do in the Oracle Eco-system, it started as just what does a UKOUG director get up to and it is that, I am still a director, but I also talk about the ACE program of which I am so proud to be a member, presenting at Oracle user group events, User Groups themselves, my work with Fujitsu and other things I think my be interesting to the people I meet through work.

A have a 2nd blog which is more personal, more about my thoughts, although if you look at the frequency of posts I don’t have many of them. Time is the killer, I need more time. My third blog is about Stanley, my (but don’t tell him - or my boss) imaginary friend.

Twitter I love, 140 characters to get your point across, although I can be a bit of a 'twitterbox' ('DebraLilley). In the UK it is not used anywhere near as much as in the US, except by celebrities and organisations who have recognised its power. For me it came into its own during the Volcano crisis when you could follow your airline and get fast, immediate information. I think of twitter as a flat portal. Each ‘Tweeple’ I follow is a portlet giving me the picture of the world I want, from news, to travel to friends and organisations. UKOUG has several accounts, Ronan has UKOUG_Chair and he is great at this, we have UKOUG run by the office, myself and many others who then use the tag #UKOUG. Using a twitter service such as TweetDeck means you can easily organise the information in the best way for you. The best use of twitter in my world is for the conference, give it a simple tag and encourage people to tweet. It brings a real buzz to the event and includes people who can't be there and is a great way of buying them in for next year. How much better is live feedback than a post event review. A tweet feed display is a must so that people can follow. I have been unable to attend a few UKOUG conference series events recently but have been able to follow and send wishes via twitter, it make me feel part of it.

My employer Fujitsu encourages me to use twitter which I suppose means I self police it, and have at times found myself encouraging Stanley (yes he has his own Stanley_ACED) to tweet instead of me. The Oracle Practice page of Fujitsu gives a link to my account so I need to be a bit careful, although I do apologise to anyone who followed me during the World Cup Final, and I really did want Holland to win.

So has the Internet helped my brand? I hope so. I am sure I don’t always get it right and I don’t get a lot of posted comments. I recently got divorced and thought about changing my name, however Debra Lilley is my brand and anything else would almost be like starting again. Although I quite like ‘Miss Debra’.

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