Social Connections

Web Presence

Your Web presence is very important. Or at least important to people who care about these sorts of things. Trying to define and protect your personal brand requires careful planning, some luck, and a bit of technical know-how.

Today, I launched the ConnectWithDon brand. Okay, so it doesn't rival Coca Cola, but it did take some serious planning. I don't have a product or service or company. It's just little ol' me. But I wanted to have some uniqueness to my digital world. The most obvious personal brand is simply your name. Unfortunately, there are 34,532,345 Don Campbell's in the world (Yes, I looked it up!....okay, no I didn't, but you know what I mean). My wife once bet that there would be more than one Don Campbell in our sleepy little town. She won. She always wins, but that's the subject for a different post. The point is, that there are a lot people out there with the same name as me, so getting my own name with .com at the end was impossible. It actually belongs to an Irish actor. Likewise, I couldn't get it on Twitter either. So I had to go a different route.

The product that I'm offering here is strictly my connection. I don't have anything to sell you at the moment (although the Slap Chop looks like fun). So my product is really my thoughts, experiences, and willingness to interact. It might sound lame, but it's all I've got. Hopefully, it's enough. In trying to find a name related to my product, I quickly decided that I wanted people to connect with me, so ConnectWithDon it is! Fortunately, and this is where the luck part really kicks in, I was able to secure the Web domain name and the Twitter handle. The other hot properties, Facebook and Google+, are simply my real name.

Timing was a bit of an issue. I needed to have the website in place before I could announce the change. But I couldn't change my Twitter name until I had somewhere to point people. It was the classic chicken and egg story. I ended up building the website first, in stealth mode, then saying goodbye on Twitter before changing my username, then making the big switch, then announcing it on Facebook. Sounds easy...but it got a bit techie at times.

The Web is a fun, exciting place. It's also a place where IP addresses rule, but arean't very visible to users. Unfortunately, when doing serious site development they become very important. And there are all kinds of MX records and CNAME records and A records that need attention. I'm sure I don't have it all figured out yet. I suffered days of DNS changes that took 24 hours each to propogate, making it difficult to use the trial and error method. Things seem to be holding together at the moment.

The site itself took a while to design (in my head, so I didn't waste paper...although I did mock up a few pages using my soapy finger on my shower wall). It's a fairly basic design, but suites me fine. I wanted to capture some main features, and the rest I'll tweak as I go. Website design, as I've learned, can be a whole different problem. Perhaps the topic of a future post.

The bottom line is I'm here, and I think I'll make myself comfortable. The only thing missing is a few friends (both old and new) to talk with...and to help me lift the couch when I decide it belongs on the other side of the room.

I hope you'll enjoy it here too. I'll post as often as I can, until it either takes over my life, or becomes so boring that I format my hard drive and turn it into a table lamp. Your energy will help....A LOT!

What's YOUR Web presence strategy?


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