Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

A Little Story About Personal Branding

Career, Events, Presentation, Social Networking | Posted by Doc List
Dec 13 2014

[Originally posted on Facebook]

A little story about personal branding.

I’m attending the Better Software Conference/Agile Development Conference in Orlando, Florida as a speaker. I did a tutorial on Monday on my philosophy of “It’s All About Me!™” and a short session on the subtlety of language on Wednesday.

After my session on Wednesday, I attended a session that a friend of mine delivered on personal branding. First, I’d never seen her present and wanted to. Second, I thought I might learn something new.

After her session, I wandered into the exhibit area (a.k.a. the break area). I picked up a lovely little snack and a cup of hot chocolate, and moved to a standup table and introduced myself to the fellow there. He introduced himself – he’s from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) – and said “Oh! We know all about you at the CBC!”.

I’ve never been to the CBC, never worked with anyone from the CBC, don’t know anyone at the CBC, as far as I know. It seems that their internal agile coach has attended one of my conference sessions somewhere, and when he returned he talked about it (okay, maybe he raved about it). If it’s the session I think it is, I give out some cards that are used for a role play simulation about facilitation.

Later, I ran into my friend Jennifer, who’d done the session on personal branding. She said “I saw you in the session and I thought ‘What is he doing here? He has done an amazing job of personal branding. Get out of here, Doc!'”

This stuff surprises me. I mean, I know I’ve worked at it, and established “Doc List” as a brand and a persona. It still surprises me.

When my team gave me the nickname in 2007, I freely admit that I set out to make it my brand.

Apparently it has worked.

It’s All About Me!™ in Orlando

Coping and Communicating, Musings, Social Networking | Posted by Doc List
Nov 13 2014

I just did my first half-day tutorial on my favorite topic, It’s All About Me!™. You’d think after talking and writing about it for years, I might have done something sooner.


In reflecting on it, I conclude that I’ve been afraid that I’d put it out there and someone would call bullshit on me.

Happily, that didn’t happen. The feedback was excellent. My favorite was “Great session! Included original material rather than just rehashing existing stuff.”

I’ll be doing more sessions, and maybe sometime soon I’ll finish the book I’ve been working on.

The value of community

Career, Musings, Social Networking | Posted by Doc
Aug 10 2011

I’m attending the Agile2011 conference in Salt Lake City. I arrived on Sunday, and Monday was the first full day, and as always it was glorious and exhausting.

Last Tuesday, I tweeted – just once – that I was no longer with ThoughtWorks. When I arrived at the conference venue, and started seeing friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, I was astounded, amazed, and overwhelmed.

“I heard, and I’m so sorry.”

“You look great! You look so relaxed.”

“What will you do next?”

Consider that I had not personally spoken with more than one or two people about my change in circumstances. What I had done was to tweet and post on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

One of the most amazing occurrences came when I was talking with my friend Doc Norton (@docondev). As we were talking, one of his co-workers sent him a message: “Did you see that Steven ‘Doc’ List is no longer with ThoughtWorks?”

Consider the amazing power of the social networks and community we live in. A few years ago, I would have been calling and writing to people individually and in groups to let them know what’s going on. Today, one posting and BAM!

The implications that go with that are important:

  • Your online reputation is important and real
  • Since perception is reality, people believe you are who you seem to be online
  • Building your network well can mean the difference between career choices and career compromises
  • Treating people well online, as well as in person, has real value
  • Think carefully about your online persona, and craft it with intent
I know far too many people who are very different in person and online. Sadly, it’s not uncommon to find people who feel that when they are electronic and faceless, it’s okay to be an asshole, or to be otherwise rude, inconsiderate, offensive, judgmental, critical, and so on. These same people might be lovely and sensitive and thoughtful in person, but online?
Why does that happen? Why do some folks feel like it’s okay – safe – to be so different online?
I’m not even going to try to come up with the answer today (although I do have some thoughts on the matter, and would be happy to hear yours). I’m just going to encourage each of you to consider my last point. It’s important enough, that I’m going to say it again.
Think carefully about your online persona, and craft it with intent.

A poorly crafted one will come back to bite you in the butt. A well crafted one will serve you well.

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