Grooming your personal brand: public writing is about quality enhancement not audience size

There is a class of blogger and tweeter who have dedicated themselves to "helping" the rest of us grow our number of followers, capture eyeballs, become indispensable. They implore us to ask constantly why others should want to read what we write, how we add value, what is the unique selling proposition that our on-line presence makes? OK. If that is what you want. As with many pitches, I think this says more about the huckster than the rest of us suckers. Public writing may serve the purpose of self promotion or the promotion of products and/or services with which the author is associated. But it may be about something else. The basic social-media privacy warning is also the invitation and offering of public writing: it may be read by anyone, it may be shared by anyone, it can never be deleted (via @rawarrior RT by JaneDavis). This imposes a discipline – or it should. And, that discipline is the beneficial filter that public writing provides. Public writing is as much about testing your own ideas against the invisible echoes of a silent audience. If you say something in the privacy of your head, talk to the mirror or sing in the shower it may be a virtuoso performance but it remains untested. Stand on stage and say it to a room and you hear the false notes even before they are uttered. Comments are appreciated; @-replies and re-tweets provide a moment of satisfaction, connection and communitation, but, honestly, this is not about growing an audience for its own sake. This is about tryng to keep myself true, on-track and coherent.

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