Image Consciousness

A while back, Valeria Maltoni was blogging about personal branding and asked the question, “Is authenticity online really authentic or is it the evolution of the mechanisms that produced stars?” A while back,

This was my comment:

I’m leaning towards “evolution”. People have been managing their reputations since high school. Most of us grow out of the petty teenage cliquishness but I don’t think we ever entirely grow out of a primal need for external validation and therefore the need to manage our reputations.

The words “reputation” and “personal brands” are practically interchangeable. Celebrities have been managing their reputations for years and the Q Score was invented precisely for that purpose.

What’s happened is a gradual democratization of celebrity. We went from watching celebrities on the silver screen to watching them on TV to competing to become celebrities on reality TV, to creating our own celebrity on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc.

As we all migrate towards a more public life, we become more cognizant of the need to put of best foot forward.

What do you think? Does social media bring out the authentic you or does it make you more conscious about your “image”.


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