Personal Branding – Your name or an alias?

Social Media experts recommend that your build your online personal brand. Using your own name so that it is easily recognisable and found in search engine.

Hence my handle NickWAllen. A little easier to optimise for than Nick Allen, and easily recognisable across all my accounts.  But what about aliases and ghost presences online?

An amazing hoax was revealed yesterday by Wired magazine and Dutch news.

Floris Kaayk artist, cinematographer and CGI aficionado has been experimenting with online media and it’s capacity to spread a cause.

For eight months Floris under the alias of Jarno Smeets acted as a human flight enthusiast. Hoping to accomplish his grandfathers dream of flying like a bird with flapping wings.  It was only recently spotted that his LinkedIn profile did not match with Coventry university records.

His online profiles on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter amassing a vast amount of followers and support for his #humanbirdwings project. The weekly updates and filming a testament to his capacity as an artist.

I admit myself to being punked by the cause, as a model aeroplane fan (read geek) in my early years I was keen to promote Floris’ cause. I even sent him some tips to build his network and reach.

It seems to have worked:

Whether Floris has just gained a whole bunch of fans or amassed a niche groups of haters is to be told in coming days, but were he to take on these profiles as his own. I’m sure may would be interested in following his next escapades. EXPECIALLY given he has no accounts himself.

The question for us as digital marketers is, hey could a false character create affinity with our brand. The characters of Nigel and Victoria – brainchildren of Philips – amassed a cult following but could outright alter egos be the next guerrilla marketing phase?

Who knows. How do you guys feel about faking a personal brand?

And for those that would like to see – here’s the video which has cracked over 4 million views.

Posterous is Joining the Flock at Twitter

Posterous is Joining the Flock at Twitter
Big news: Posterous has been acquired by Twitter!
The opportunities in front of Twitter are exciting, and we couldn’t be happier about bringing our team’s expertise to a product that reaches hundreds of millions of users around the globe. Plus, the people at Twitter are genuinely nice folks who share our vision for making sharing simpler.

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.

You can find more information answers to other questions you may have here.

Finally, we’d like to offer thanks to all of our users, especially those who have been with Posterous since day one. The last four years have been an amazing journey. Your encouragement, praise and criticism have made us better. Thanks for that. We look forward to building great things for you over at Twitter.

How do B2B corporate account followers use Twitter


Recently @towerswatson polled followers regarding their Twitter usage.


The results are interesting. It is a multi select poll, so users select each of the options that are relevant to them. With moderate reach – so far 60+ responses have been logged.

You can quickly see that the majority of users are reading posts via the twitter app in their mobile device. Then (I am presuming to save data (and roaming) charges, they also use the website. Of course if Twitter usage mimics mobile search queries, we should see early morning and evening peaks as users switch from commuting to their work desktop, to their phone, and onto their iPad for the evening.

Whether it is serendipitous or a correlation, the number of Twitter client users is the same as those following a specific hashtag. In my experience many Twitter clients make this experience a lot easier.
So what does this mean for marketers? Around 14% of users are using and advanced twitter client such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and the same percentage follow a specific hashtag. The majority, it seems, are still getting to grips with lists, canned searches and what this Twitter thing is all about. Perhaps, those heavy users and early adopters (candidates for an early purchase of the new iPhone or iPad) are present outside of the tech and social media “guru” sphere. And we do see savvy social media users amongst the followers of B2B corporate accounts.

But this also highlights the need for corporate accounts to be specific when defining what their latest tweet is about. There also seems to be a necessity, for accounts surfacing a lot of content, to be timely in their repeat tweets. Not too many as to put off followers, but enough to reach all time zones. Scheduling two sends or more of an article, with a different take, could also reach those users that are not on twitter every day, those that go back to a hashtag or back to their timeline once a week or less.

I’m keen to hear how you interpret these statistics!

What will be the new web prefix?

A quiet thought as I log my timesheets for the week into an eBusiness suite.


The web has been steadily moving through the vowels and I am picking the last two could in fact be far more influential than the first three.

  • A The @ symbol that kicked off the first mass communication system over the internet with email addresses. 
  • E we then had to prefix all our traditional communications with e to make them email friendly 
    • eCard
    • e-Alert
    • e-Zine
    • eBusiness
    • and later eCommerce
  • I – well we all know what came next. Apple with the iPod, iPhone, iPad which ultimately have made mobile first, a phrase everyone’s shouting. Now anything sleek and portable trying to be cool follows suit with iStuff.  
  • Only O and U are left.

My pick is that these will be Omnipresent and Ubiquitous.

  • Seamless sharing like we see from Path, marking our locations into their social network as our cell phone jumps from tower to tower.
  • Everything will be connected over WiFi.  Fridges with feeds can already pre-order your weekly shop. The list of houshold connections will continue to grow.
  • And we’ll see more objects communicating to each other online, prioritising your drive home (should you need to pick up something that can’t be delivered in 24hrs). 

But perhaps the U in fact brings the power back to Us. As we gather all our browsing and shopping data to form online experiences, services and physical products that are truly fitting with our lifestyles and needs.

Companies send us trials of the Nick Allen limited edition. Now that would be great.