New York City – It’s YouTube in Real Life

Joe Gallo (@jgallo02) kindly allowed me to guest blog my ramblings on his awesome site, Tales of a New Yorker.  A big thank you to Michael Bettiol (@bettiol) for making the connection.  Below is NYC through my eyes.

“I posted a video on YouTube and I’m getting the weirdest responses…some people have said some really nice things and others are being rude and downright profane. How do I keep them from writing the bad stuff?” I was asked by a YouTube newbie. “You can’t.” I explained. This week I visited New York for a wedding in New Jersey. As I walked the streets, I found New York to be the real life version of YouTube.

In a city as large and diverse as New York you find it all. Interested in a comedy show in the middle of the day with a guy that you’ve never heard of but is brilliantly funny? Done. Care to see Ty from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? Easy. The beauty and wonder is there on every corner. I spent an hour in Bryant Park watching two guys play Pétanque – it’s not Bocce, that’s a different game. What do I know? I’m from Texas. Want to learn how to play? They can teach you and they’re ready to do so. Are you looking for a funny line from Caddyshack II? Take a stroll down 5th Avenue as my parents did, when they ran into Jackie Mason. I wish they would’ve asked him to be the ball. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na. I know, the line is from Caddyshack, but work with me, okay?

New York is a small place. Cruising down 5th with my mom, I told her, I have a feeling I’m going to randomly bump into someone I know…I can feel it. A few blocks later, the towering Lewis Howes appears. I smile at my mom and just say “here we go.” Lewis was in town for a speaking gig at a conference. He’s based out of Ohio. What are the odds?

I still cannot believe all the things I found to do in one day. In the morning I rose, hopped over to 59th and 5th to meet Harry and Erica Hill from the CBS Early Morning Show. Fellow Texan, Betty Nguyen, sadly stayed indoors. I got caught on camera between the breaks as a crazy woman from Long Island or as she said it, “Long-guy-land” and humorously screamed at her “ma to turn ahn the teeeveeee!!!” From there, I zipped over to NBC’s Studio 1A at 30 Rock for a view of Matt Lauer and to earn my coveted Foursquare Today Show badge. I joked online that Matt still owes me five bucks and that he wouldn’t dare look at me while on camera. It was a great morning – getting a few seconds of face time on two national networks? Not bad. The day was certainly not over. After running around the city for a bit longer, I got to see some friends that I had met at CES for a taping of the Engadget Show. The timing could not have been better since Jimmy Fallon was a guest, then they later showcased the new Microsoft Kinect unit allowing for full body movement and control of the games. Impressive. Were we done? Absolutely not! Off to McSorley’s Old Ale House. McSorley’s is famous for a number of things, including having hosted Lincoln, Roosevelt, Lennon (John, not the Russian, that’s spelled differently), only serving a “light” or “dark” ale and for being the oldest Irish Tavern in NYC.

New York – what a city. As I said, NYC is much like YouTube. If you’ve spent time posting a video with even a few hundred to a few thousand hits and poked around looking for a video to suit you, you’ve had a digital experience of what The City has to offer. Sure, YouTube can’t provide the exact experience but you can find the famous, learn something new, bump into a friend, experience the inspirational, the downright fun and with some of the comments, huff the digital urine that peppers the streets of the city. Could I spend a lifetime there? Probably not, but just like YouTube, I certainly love to visit…and share it with friends and family.

No One Cares About You – Personal Branding

Personal branding and when no one cares about you.

Who has two thumbs and...ah, nobody cares.
Who has two thumbs and...ah, nobody cares.

We live in a “me” centered society where people don’t care about you.  You might even have trouble getting your family to read what you’ve written!  You may be lacking in defining a personal brand for yourself.  Not to worry, here are a few tips on what you can do to firm up your personal brand.

1.  Start with your Strengths.  We all know that there are inherent desires and passions within us that gravitate towards different subjects.  You’ve known this since you were a kid.  What are some of those passions that you have where you have endless levels of energy to read, research and grow?  According to Marcus Buckingham, Strengths have SIGNs.

Success – You have been successful in developing this area of your life.
Instinct – There’s a natural desire in your life to do that activity.
Growth – When you do the activity, you get better than the last time.
Needs – You have a desire to do the activity again.

Once you’ve framed your Strengths, you can use that as your basis for your personal branding.  What’s exciting about it is that you have a natural drive to learn more and share more about those subjects.  For me, I love business and consumer level technology, so you’ll notice that that’s what I talk about.  What can you hang your hat on?

2.  To drive your personal branding you need two basic prongs – content and channels.  The content includes the blog posts you write, the tweets you send out, the comments you leave for others, the updates you provide on social networks.  What people sometimes forget is that content spans audio and video.  Your personal brand becomes even richer when you provide photos, video and audio.  These forms of communication should drive forward your brand that you’ve developed from your strengths.

3. Channels are the places where your content can be found.  Are you on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, YouTube, 12seconds, etc?  You don’t have to be everywhere, you just should be where the eyeballs are and where you can be effective.  Pick those places, then bundle them all together with websites like Google Profiles, FriendFeed, and PeoplePond.  These sites let you consolidate your online presence and some will even let you send your updates to your other sites.  When you update from one to the others, you should be careful – use this sparingly, as your followers can get annoyed from too many updates.  The bonus, however, is that the Google and the other search engines love this stuff and it will make you even easier to find, especially if you use a consistent name or brand.

The bottom line is that you need to do personal branding for yourself regarding topics that you’re passionate about.  Once you’ve determined those strengths, pump your content through your channels.  *Thanks to Dan Schawbel’s comment, I realized I wasn’t explicit about mentioning that your personal brand is not all about you.  People care when the content you provide fulfills their needs versus having a platform for self promotion.  Now GO!

What are some tips and tricks that I have left out?  I’d love to get your input!