Branding. Every social media yahoo will use the term, replacing it for just about every word from “style” to “reputation” to “logo” to “colour scheme” or whatever else. It is vague, but every business type needs to pretend they understand the term.
I learned a little about branding while partnering with folks from Revolve.ca. Part of the process was them building a the podcamp logo for us. But it was also thinking what message we (the collective partners involved in Podcamp Halifax planning) wanted to put out to the public, and how that message would carry to the people who would eventually hear it — the current podcamp plus the many podcamps that would happen in the future. To me, that logo speaks to the marriage of ideas, art (text, sound, images and video), technology, enthusiasm (the colours are very flame-like) in a way (and this is very important) that no one else speaks to it. It does this also without me imagining that it would be the wood panelling of the 2010s. We were doing something that was done before, but in our own way with our own messages. That’s what the long tail is all about. Many voices coordinated through technology.
Anyway, after this experience, I’ve been thinking about this blog in the context of branding – not because I am a slave to the whole “branding” idea, but because I think this matters to me and this blog right now.
My last post about Podcamp Halifax annoyed me because it spoke to the brand of this blog — that of a librarian, still stuck in the mindset of a service provider, trying to help an audience of service providers find out how they can be successful doing the “community development” thing. That post outright sucked when I read it just now – but I’m not about to make apologies for it.
The post sucked because the audience of this blog is primarily an international network of librarians trying to work their way of the ladders of librarianship. Recently I’ve engaged a broader group of people, and now I worry that the two cultures will clash. These days, my interest lies in the broader group of people. This is not a slight to librarians at all. I just do not want to write for you and I do not want to write what I think about podcamp from a librarian perspective.
What I am trying to say is that I have to find a brand that lets me continue to be the librarian I am and share what I know with my professional community, while at the same time continuing to participate in the broader world of IT, blogging, local networks and so on. In this sense, I need to think about the brand for this blog and re-think where I’m going to go with this space.
Anyone have any ideas on this? How can I continue to highlight my local interests while at the same time engage the wider librarian community? What messages would you put out if you were in my situation?