Entries from February 2010 ↓

It is possible to go offline

In the last year I’ve gone offline for two different five-day stretches. The first was thanks to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and its lacking cellphone service in Crawford Notch’s campgrounds. This past week it took a cruise into Central America to turn off my phone and computer habit. I think the time away is healthy… But catching up online is going to take a while. the one thing I did notice was how my tools page caught a lot of attention after a recent IRE conference. I welcome all new ideas and links you can find. Share your links here or feel free to tweet me: @jenleereeves

Blog crazy

I love blogs. I blog about blogs… I help people launch blogs. I periodically think about joining the BlogHer network and market my daughter’s blog. But for four years, I’ve run my class through an old Dreamweaver template I created in the summer of 2006.

This morning I went in to work at 4 a.m. to help oversee possible school closures (I did the same three days in a row last week). The school closings were slow so I dropped another WordPress install into my server and decided to try and build a class page built in a blog theme. I ended up with this. As I built it, I decided that I would post a blog post that reviews the class. It was fun… and it was really cool to see how my class discussion floated out into Twitter and Buzz and I was able to bring it all together.

Ahhhh. Blogs.

Off topic or on the right track?

I spend a lot of time talking to my students, former students and colleagues about personal branding. And the more I talk to them, the more I start thinking about younger users of the web. I have had a chance to speak to high schoolers a number of times about the changing world of journalism and social media. I remind them that a simple Google search (and Bing and Yahoo) can show you a lot about your personal brand. And I tell them that you should think about your personal brand now, not later. But that got me thinking about my children. I blog about each of them, they have their own gmail accounts (and thus Google profile and Buzz accounts that I haven’t activated) and I plan to help manage their Facebook (or whatever social media tool is cool at the time) profiles until they are 18 (probably against their will). I think parents need to think of ways to jump in and think about personal branding before that brand is established. That way I don’t have to help them fix it by the time they are in high school or college.

How early is too early to worry about a person’s brand? If you search for my kids, you’ll find a picture of my son from the local newspaper and nothing about my daughter unless you know the name of her blog. In this searchable and cached world, how early do we need to worry? Do I just spend too much time talking about branding and parenting in separate venues that I’m merging these two topics because I’m obsessed? I just thought I’d throw it out there. I might be off topic for this blog but at the same time I wonder if I’m on the right track.