Whose Job Is It To Protect The Internet?

A good friend of mine is one of those environmentalist types. He saves water, composts his food scraps and would never buy a fuel-guzzling car. He also has an unusual job – he makes money online using methods which, let’s say, are not in line with Google’s best practices. The job involves setting up a few dozen websites and rapidly building thousands of links to them in order to get them ranked in Google.

This enables him to sell a few thousand dollars’ worth of product before Google discovers these sites and de-lists them from the index for violating their guidelines. The process is then repeated.

I’m not judging him. Well, not most of the time, anyway.

He discovered a secret sauce for making money online and is currently making more of it than I am (while living a much more balanced lifestyle). If I knew his methods, I’m not entirely sure that I wouldn’t be seduced into doing what he does, either.

This parallel, however, is interesting to me because while we now recognize the need to protect our physical environment, we’re not there yet when it comes to viewing our online environment through the same lens. That will have to change.

Just as dumping pollution into the atmosphere to make a profit isn’t cool any more, engaging in online activity which then has to be undone by others, will soon become a culturally recognized no-no. Let me explain…

Why Protect The Environment?

Modern-day environmentalism takes as a fundamental premise that the planet is our main, yet fragile, source of life.

The pursuit of our economic goals has an impact on the planet and we consider a limited amount of it to be an acceptable cost. However, we also recognise that if the damage crosses a certain threshold, we will all die.

Which is why we support the idea that industry has to be regulated, irresponsible commercial activity has to be opposed, and so on.

It Hasn’t Always Been This Way

Rewind 50 years and you’ll see a lot less emphasis on preservation, more chimneys spitting smoke into the sky, next to zero recycling and definitely much less talk about water conservation.

Somewhere between then and now we began to believe that the impact we have on our planet isn’t without consequence.

We realised that the world is much smaller than we thought it was, and that reducing the damage we cause is a legitimate cause which furthers the interests of humanity.

Our New Source

Throughout 1990’s the Internet was – let’s face it – a place for the select few to entertain themselves and connect. Since 2000, we have been rapidly moving our lives online. With the rise of social media and content marketing, Internet has emerged as a place where we conduct a sizeable chunk of our lives.

More importantly, however, it’s becoming a tool which we can use to a reimagine and rebuild – for the better – critical aspects of human existence, such as education, transportation, medicine, work, nutrition, etc.

Indeed, as the Internet is evolving from being limited to a device that sits in the corner of our room, to our pocket, to being in front of our eye, to becoming an opaque, omnipresent, intelligent layer through which we interact with our physical world, it becomes difficult to imagine an industry which can’t be revolutionised through a fusion of the Internet with emerging technologies.

In the context of jobs alone, the Internet has the capacity to have a remarkable impact on what we do with our lives and why we do it. It’s opening opportunities for individuals to behave like brands and become highly employable in niche of their choice through a worldwide marketplace.

Within that, a question becomes relevant: If this indeed is true, at what stage does activity which detracts from our experience online become not smart?

I watched Mozilla’s manifesto and was hugely inspired, because I was reminded that the Internet is becoming better not by an accident, but because of people who have the courage to imagine it as something that improves the human condition and dedicate their time to making that dream a reality.

It’s easy to take for granted that, compared with 10 years ago, we see less pop-up banners, less SPAM in our inbox, less viruses and malware. We take it as the norm that if we type “best café in NYC” into Google we’ll get useful reviews instead of 3 pages of advertising masquerading as content.

While I’m not suggesting that a few people, my friend included, are putting us all in danger by potentially “breaking” the Internet, I’m hoping that this post acts as a catalyst for change in how we view this medium and how we spend out time here.

It’s no longer a dumping ground where everyone can come to make a quick buck. It’s a web of communities who, together, can do remarkable things.

Over the next 10 years we’ll experience arguably the most important shift in recent history. Last time a shift like this happened was around 1980’s when the personal computer became useful, small and affordable.

This revolution won’t be based around hardware and electronics, but around software and ultra-connectivity.

This presents us with an immense opportunity.

Before us is once in a lifetime chance to harness new technology and do meaningful work and create something that matters while enjoying the material benefits which successful entrepreneurial activity offers.Imge credit:

Image credit:

Will The Real You Please Stand Up? #TChat Recap

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

Looking for yet another staggering social era statistic? Try this from personal branding tools provider, Brand Yourself:

Google processes more than 80 million “people” searches each day. Yep. 80 million. Chances are someone will be searching for you soon. So ask yourself this — if someone “Googled” your name right now, would the results do you justice?

Brand Positioning: It’s All About The “C” Words

As a marketing and communications professional, I’ve spent years persuading business organizations to mind their messaging, so the world will understand their brand promise. I preach the “5 C’s” of brand positioning: Clarity, Completeness, Cohesion, Credibility and Consistency. And now, after a week of “brand you” discussions with the TalentCulture community, I see how those very same concepts can be an equally powerful force in our professional lives.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who likes “C” words! Earlier this year, after #TChat conversations about how professional recommendations influence personal brands, our very own Kevin W. Grossman offered some handy “C” advice of his own on the Reach-West blog:

“…Ensure your online profiles are as consistent and accurate as possible across all social points of presence. In other words, whomever you say you are, and whatever you say you’re doing (and have done) is close (if not the same) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, G+ and the many other industry and association niche networks and communities where you’re visible.

Consistency and accuracy are critical keys, because those searching for you and reviewing your profiles will be looking for anomalies that don’t add up — and you want everything to add up. You want to stand out, but you want to add up — and for goodness sake you want to be accurate and truthful about everything. That includes your recommendations and endorsements. Never over-spin, or allow others to go there. Not only that, but at the very least once a quarter review and update your online profiles, and kill those you no longer want to maintain, even if you’re not looking for work.

Why? Because you never know when that great new opportunity will be looking for you to add up. It’s your personal employment brand. Take care of it.”

DIY Brand Makeover

Reinventing You

Learn more about “Reinventing You”5 C’s of Brand Positioning

Hmm. I guess I’d better spend the dog days of summer cleaning my personal brand “house.” How about you? From what I saw on the #TChat stream yesterday, few of us would disagree with the importance of proactively managing an online persona. But for some people, focusing on themselves is almost as enjoyable as flossing their teeth.

That’s why we asked a fearless brand management expert to lead the way this week — Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You. Dorie clearly understands the issues that hold people back from “owning” their brand identity, and she offers practical tools to make it work.

Below, we’ve captured the week’s highlights — including a tweet-by-tweet Storify slideshow from #TChat Twitter, and other resource links.

We hope this sparks a desire to start your own brand makeover. Let us know about your progress…here or on the stream. The TalentCulture community, is always open and ready to offer ideas and support. Rock that brand!

#TChat Week in Review: Reinventing Your Personal Brand

SAT 7/13


Watch the G+ Hangout with Dorie Clark

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, outlined the week’s topic in a post that features a great “sneak peek” G+ Hangout with Dorie. See “You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand.”

SUN 7/14 Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered 5 ways to tap into your true professional identity. Read “Rethink Brand You: Find Your Authentic Self.”

TUE 7/16

Related Post: For people who need clarification to redefine themselves, Dorie explained how to gather actionable input from a full-circle brand review. Read “Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot.”

WED 7/17


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: To kick-off this week’s #TChat double-header, Dorie spoke with Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman about the power of proactively managing your brand. Even if you’re not in the market for a new position, you’ll hear ideas you can use. Listen now to the recording.

#TChat Twitter: As the radio show concluded, we fired-up the Twitter chat engines for a dynamic, community conversation about the role of personal branding in our professional lives. As always, the crowdsourcing energy was breathtaking. Thanks to everyone who contributed! To review highlights, see the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Reinventing a Personal Brand”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Dorie Clark for helping our community think more intelligently about the “why” and “how” of personal brand management. You inspire us to reach higher!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about work/life integration issues? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat events, we’ll continue our summer “professional restart” series with a special crowdsourcing forum. Check for details in a preview post this weekend.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng




You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a complete review of the week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Will the Real You Please Stand Up?”)

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

Most of us are familiar with the concept of personal branding. We understand how important it is to put our “best face forward,” especially during a job search. (Our mothers told us about that long ago.) And you don’t have to be Kim Kardashian to see that social media shines a constant spotlight on our lives, for better or worse. So…why don’t more of us cultivate our personal brands as carefully as a marketing manager would?

Creating a Fresh Perspective

Reinventing You

Learn more about “Reinventing You”

Is your online presence incomplete or out-of-date? Do you suspect it sends the wrong message? Are you considering a career change, but struggling with how to reposition yourself for a new role? What’s the best way to recombine all the elements for a message that is accurate, authentic and attracts the right kind of attention?

That’s our focus this week in the TalentCulture community, as we continue our “summer restart” series with the author of of Reinventing You, Dorie Clark. Dorie is a communications and brand management expert who has written extensively about this topic. And we’re fortunate that she’s sharing her insights with us throughout the week.

To set the stage, Dorie joined me for a brief G+ Hangout to discuss why personal brand management matters, not just during a job search, but on a continuous basis:

The article Dorie mentions is great preparation for this week’s #TChat discussions. Check it out at Harvard Business Review: It’s Not a Job Search, It’s a Campaign. Also, if you’d like to read related articles from the TalentCulture archives, see “Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand” and “Personal Re-Branding For Chareer Changers.”

#TChat Events: Reinventing Your Brand

Don’t forget to save the date — Wednesday July 17 — for a #TChat double-header that is designed to change your professional life for the better. Bring your questions, concerns, ideas and suggestions, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, July 17 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

Dorie joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a closer look at why and how professionals can benefit from personal branding. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, July 17 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, our conversation with Dorie opens wide, as she moderates our community discussion on the #TChat stream. We welcome anyone with a Twitter account to join us, as we discuss these questions:

Q1:  You are the captains of your own career destiny. Why or why not?
Q2:  What should your first priorities be when reinventing your personal brand?
Q3:  Does it make a difference if you’re a full-time, part-time or contract worker? Why/why not?
Q4:  How can business leaders facilitate ongoing career development, inside and out?
Q5:  What technologies today help us reinvent ourselves? How/why?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!