Public is the New Default…Who Are YOU to the Web World?

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The world is rapidly becoming more social, all the while these socialites are hanging out behind a computer…counter intuitive I know! Twitter has shown the word what a public ecosystem can do for spreading messages and building communities. Facebook recently embraced a more public community when Marky Mark Zuckerberg announced that the default privacy settings will now be public. Even the search giants, Google, understand that human powered social data will mean the world to them (literally). More data more money yes we know, but from a more positive standpoint this shift towards a democratization of publicity allows astute and hardworking people to build a name from the ground up. Basically, the world is becoming more open and there is nothing you can do about other than embracing the culture or becoming irrelevant.

Right now I am reading the most relevant book for this topic and times “Trust Agents” (relevant for anyone who lives a digital life right now or wants to). Chris and Julien are able to run through the ever changing landscape of the extremely open and public digital space while expressing the importance of authenticity and engagement. If you engage people in your community and are authentic in your actions you have control over your online identity. If success is having control over your own destiny then a lot more people have the opportunity to be successful in this day and age.

So after enough “yes, yes I agree” statements and a couple “ah-ha” moments while reading Trust Agents I decided to check in on the blogosphere to see what the trust agents in my circle are saying. I stumbled across one of my favorites, the genius Matt C of “Life Without Pants” (I named my blog before I knew of him I swear!). We chatted a bit through his comment section discussing the topic bloggers identity and how to position one’s self. What struck me in particular was the simplicity of the message Matt expressed:

Be Yourself!

You have heard this time in time again I know. However, that message will never be more relevant than in the world we live in now! The world is open, life is public and people are social. You will be Googled, Facebooked, and put through the whole gamut of web 2.0 adopted verbs we are now accustom to. People will know you and if they don’t, they will at the very least know how to find you.
So just like your mother told you “just be yourself” and you will make friends. If you are looking to build a presence for yourself online…be yourself and be the best person you can be and watch a community form. Be the compelling and unique individual you are and package your offering in a way that will gain the interest of people on the web.

Public is the new default…no need to put up a front… just be yourself…say what you feel…and make new friends that believe in your message.

Let me know…

Do you think everyone should just be themselves online? Or is it a controlled process of showing the world who you want to be known as? Maybe a little of both…

Let us know your thoughts on the dynamics of the new public world.

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8 Responses

02.23.10

You hit it right on point, you must be yourself in the web 2.0 world. The reason being if you put up a front you will be exposed.

Being yourself also sets you apart from people that do the same thing you do. Authenticity is key.

02.23.10

Hey Tony…thanks for the comment!

I completely agree with you. Authenticity is not only a product of the open world we live in…but it is a quality that attracts great people. When I checked out Venture Mixx for the first time I asked myself what trait do all you interviewees have. They are all authentic above all else and embrace the public nature of the web. I have spoken with many of them and I can tell you first hand that each of them are smart, open and helpful. Venture Mixx is an indication that “being yourself” goes a long way on the web!

Thanks again Tony…Lets try to connect sometime soon.

02.23.10

Thanks for the shout-out Brenton. My question is, why WOULDN’T you be yourself? It’s never crossed my mind to be something that I’m not in the online space. It’s a pretty transparent world we live in these days, people are smart, and the second you try to be someone or something you’re not – people will see right through you.

Aside from that, TRYING to be something you’re not involves just that…TRYING. It shouldn’t be a chore, you shouldn’t have to TRY to assume a particular identity. Just be yourself, let things flow naturally – some people will love you, some will hate you. You’ll never ever please everyone – understanding that is a very important step toward being authentic. As long as YOU know you are doing what’s best for you – you don’t have to worry about what everyone thinks.

Thanks again buddy – we need to sit down on Skype sometime soon!

02.23.10

I agree with Matt – being yourself is the most important thing. Internet or not, people will eventually see through any act you’re putting on, and wonder why you were doing so to being with.

We’ve always lived in public to an extent, long before the Internet. We just called it gossip.

Friends, family members, business colleagues, teachers, postal workers, students, doctors – we all gossip among ourselves and among others. In this sense, your actions and words are public – you never know who’s going to end up finding about them.

Some great thoughts here Brenton!

02.23.10

Hey Matt,

Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for the follow up comment :) I can think on one primary reason why people will not want to show their true colors online…because they don’t believe their true colors are good enough. Just like in the real world…people have insecurities and are scared to fully open up because their true self might be reject. With all that being said..I think much of the beauty about the web and tools like blogs and Twitter is that it servers as an outlet for alot of people which allows them to show their true selves to the world…which is a bit counter-intuitive but it’s something I have seen in myself as well as other bloggers.

Skype call is most definitely a must…You can find me at: brentongieser …can’t wait to hear more about your always dynamic life!!

02.23.10

Hmmm…great example of pre-internet publicity being simply gossip. I guess the cool thing now is that you can follow the bread crumb trail online which means that gossip is now just a line of public communication about someone or a specific topic. So in theory the web can dilute gossip and make way for more transparency so no message is lost in between (that’s only theory though).

On another note…just had a chance to to watch your interview with the 5th Ensemble…amazing video work and amazing interview. Looks like you are leveraging the web to express yourself, showcase your city and to build business. Well done sir…look forward to see what you have upcoming!

02.23.10

Great post. Social media is obviously taking over and the questions of what to do with the an account based on privacy issues are difficult to answer. I agree, Be yourself! But also think about how you are being. Social media is a place to connect and not a place for everyone to flaunt there own TMZ incidents.

02.23.10

Just like you should be aware of how to the outside world perceives you, you should understand the presence you are creating for yourself online. Like you alluded to I believe the greatest value social media provides is the leverage in building personal connections with people you can relate to. We wouldn’t be able to go back and forth like this 10 years ago :)

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