following up on the CreComm bloggers round table

it's taken me a while to sort out my feelings about this topic, and I feel like last Thursday I said a lot of things that were insightful, important and hopefully useful to the students I was speaking to.

however being part of a panel of bloggers who do a decidedly different form of blogging than I do -that is, blogging that is extremely focused on a specific set of topics and targeted at a very specific audience- I felt like maybe my voice and the relevance of writing a 'personal blog' fell a bit by the wayside.

maybe the students I spoke to will read this, maybe they won't. however for those of you that I know read this (hello new readers! I see you) I just want to make the distinction between something that perhaps I didn't articulate properly during the round table:

this blog isn't my 'online portfolio', it is my personal brand.

I do a lot of things. I'm a blogger who is obsessed with social media and The Internet. I'm a Joint Communications student. I contribute at I'm the Social Media Manager for the Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition and I'm an unprofessional photographer who does freelance consulting. I live a rich and interesting life full of people who admire and respect what I do and it's all because of this stupid blog. because when people visit my blog they don't just see some schmuck who has a 'blog on The Internet' but someone who spends a great deal of time thinking about and crafting their online image and their personal brand.

there are others like me that I can say the same thing about: Tony Pierce (of course), Lauren O'Nizzle, Kyla Roma, Christine Estima, Zach Bussey, to name a very select few. all of these people have extremely interesting and unique personal blogs that not only highlight their mastery of their field and ongoing accumulation of knowledge/experience but also provide insightful, funny and sometimes shocking peeks into their personal life.

the reason people want to work with these individuals is because of who they are, not just what they've shown that they know.

because let's be honest, people aren't hiring what you know, they're hiring who you are, and your portfolio blog could be the most knowledgeable and on-the-ball blog there is, but if you're not engaging, open and interesting nobody's going to give a shit about what you have to say.

don't get me wrong, topic-specific (portfolio) blogs have their place. The other participators in the Blogger's Round Circle (Erica, Liz and James) are extremely good at what they do. but I'm here to tell you it's not your only choice.

I'm here to tell you that you can be weird

that you should give insight where it isn't wanted

to read how to blog every day and do it

that it's okay to wear like a fucking sailor if you want because having a squeaky-clean image isn't always what employers/collaborators want (in most cases it seems cheap and fake, and in most cases it is)

that it's okay to share stories about your dog, your summer vacation, or your sweet thrift store finds with your audience because it means you're a real person and that's so hard to come by in 'the industry'

that you need to realize that the people worth working for will both respect your blog and appreciate it. I haven't worked with a single person, ever, who hasn't said "I love your blog, it's why I got in touch/was recommended to you". seriously.

but you can't take yourself or your blog too seriously. then you just become some asshole trying to manipulate your audience and you'll lose everyone who cares enough to read what you have to say, no matter what you're saying

and finally if you can't or don't want to share your life, don't feel bad. there are untold numbers of blogs that are centered around a specific topic that are wildly successful and entertaining. just look at the people on the rest of the panel with me.

however that being said social media is just that -social. living your life (or part of it) online not only demonstrates your expertise with drawing an audience, keeping them engaged and interested, and creating a positive brand image for yourself but it shows fearlessness and accessibility. both to potential employers/collaborators as well as your audience.

if you want people to care about what you have to say, you have to make them care about you.

however you choose to blog about it is your choice.