Launching The Social Mediators Video Podcast

Social Mediators LogoToday we’re launching the Social Mediators video podcast.

Each week, Joe Thornley, Terry Fallis and I (three guys who, as Joe says, should never be on camera!) will chat about social media and its intersection with communications, organizations and society in general. As Joe put it on his site:

“We’re always on, always connected. How are we taking advantage of the new capablities that gives us? And how is that affecting the way we relate to one another and how we organize around common interests? Finally, what does that mean for traditional organizations – companies, cause-based groups and government?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

In our first episode this week, we talk about personal branding online. Each of us is serving as a mentor at the upcoming Personal Brand Camp 2, organized by Michael Cayley for students at Humber College. We give our thoughts on the advice we’ll give to attendees there, then get into the topic of the personal/professional divide – a hot topic for us right now as we fine-tune our own new online communications policy.

Check it out here, or head over to the Social Mediators website to subscribe directly.

  • Congrats on the new show, guys.

    I agree with the guy with the fake accent. Many of us don’t have the same goals in mind when we play online as we do when we work (online or elsewhere). I’m not sure what T-F specific objectives are, but given that my own online hobby activities have differing objectives, I can’t imagine T-F objectives being vague enough to be “inline” with the most online activities.

    It would be interesting to hear the definition of “inline” (does it just mean “in peaceful co-existence with”) and examples of specific objectives of T-F, of Dell Computers, of companies in different sectors.

    Looking forward to episode 2

    • Great to hear from you Andrea, and thanks!

      There are two guys with weird accents there… did you mean Terry or Joe? 🙂

      Thanks for the suggestions – there’s certainly more room for us to revisit in future.

  • Shannon Morton

    Great first episode, guys! The personal branding debate is being tabled quite a bit these days, it seems, and I’m always interested to hear how everyone interprets it. Not surprisingly, it’s exactly that: personal. But I do agree with Terry and Dave’s comments re: do no harm. While your motivations for engaging in social media interaction at any given moment may not be directly related back to your workplace or clients, it’s important to always have that in the back of your mind and conduct yourself accordingly.

    I’m participating in Michael Cayley’s Personal Brand Camp as well, as a mentor, and am looking forward to discussing further! See you fine folks there!

    • Thanks Shannon – look forward to seeing you there!

  • I can understand why a company might want to implement some guidelines regrading how employees behave online, but it left me with a Big Brother Is Watching feeling. It seems as if social media does not in fact belong to the individual any longer; it belongs to who might be watching. I am truly grateful that I don’t have to concern myself with the thought/nightmare of someone always looking over my shoulder- just in case I said something wrong!

    I too look forward to your next episode: I Am Watching!

    • I hear you. I think it comes back to the effect on the business – while you may not do things to advance the company’s goals in your own time, if you do things that *hurt* your employer, then they’re going to pay attention.

      There really is a fine line between reasonable, common-sense guidelines and intruding on peoples’ personal lives, and it’s not an easy one to tread.

      One other thing to remember – many companies’ employee guidelines already cover inappropriate behaviour, regardless of whether it’s online or offline.

  • Yes, and I also think it just comes down to common sense: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. I work for an educational institution I like, but even if I did have problems with them I don’t think it’d be wise to take my problems with my employer online. I think we all have a lot to learn from what’s happening with the TTC online, from all sides in the battle. Perhaps an interesting topic for you gentlemen to explore?

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  • Dave (Terry & Joe),

    Thanks for starting the conversation for the upcoming Personal Brand Camp. It is quite an honour for us to occupy such a prominent spot in your first episode!

    I really hope that folks take the time to review this post regarding Personal Brand:

    http://humberpr.ning.com/profiles/blogs/20-questions-or-more-about

    It contains the readings and videos that we cover as part of my course in social media for the post graduate students in Humber’s Public Relations Program. Joe refers to them in your vidcast.

    When watching your video, I found myself zeroing in on Terry’s comments.

    First, he articulates common discomfort with “personal brand”.

    I think part of this discomfort comes from the misnomer “personal brand”. We deal with that in the post so go check it out.

    There are many reasons why the traditional notion of brand is not a fit for the approach that I would recommend for managing one’s online identity. Terry hits on part of it – people are not products. I think there is more to it. Branding is really a broadcast concept. It is about narrowing down the time and space that it takes to relate concepts, eliminating complexity, establishing a single point of differentiation. Some of this just does serve an individual well in the online context. Increasingly, we may discover that it doesn’t even serve corporations as well as it used to.

    Next – I bet most people believe (myself included, and particularly sheepish Canadians in general) that another source of their discomfort with the concept of personal brand is due to a disconnect between their personal sensibilities and the idea of broadcasting themselves through media.

    Yet they are not being broadcast at all are they? Dave you have a large following for this blog & your twitter account. You may be approaching a broadcast pattern of conversation pattern, but for most of us, personal branding is not about projection. The focus is about being prepared to satisfy someone’s search in meaningful ways, once they have decided to take some time to learn about you.

    It may be, that the source of our collective discomfort is just the adjustment that we are all feeling as broadband connectivity settles into our lives, to a point where the previously mundane and unexamined portions are available to anyone who might seek them out, and will inevitably help form others’ perception of us.

    We are not advocating “personal brand”, so much as helping people realize that the world is radically different than when Tom Peters was suggesting personal brand back in 1997. Broadband over took dial up connections in 2004 and is set to triple every six months for the foreseeable future.

    Before electric light, no night games. Now, by simply shifting their online attention towards you people are forming often indelible impressions of who you are. What is your plan to make that first impression a good one so that you can secure that increasingly precious face to face time?

    I think the money quote in your video comes at the 2:22 mark when Terry demonstrates that he is a natural at all of this saying, “you want to enhance those attributes that you want push forward and maybe downplay those that you would maybe like to have less prominence,”. If you read the Harrison White material in the post, you will see that Terry is on to something there IMHO.