Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Friendly Commentsphere

Tēnā koutou katoa - Greetings to you all
Wordle array of my commentsphere.

Michele Martin’s Web 2.0 Wednesday assignment - to uncover one’s personal brand - makes several assumptions. One of them is that a personal brand is, Michele quotes,
as Steve Woodruff defines it:
(amended 14/09 see comment)
When people see you, think of you, and relate to you, words and images and feelings come to mind. That is your personal brand.
Another is that I wish to uncover my personal brand.

I’m not sure that a single personal brand exists. My impression is that people are so diverse in their personality, likes and dislikes, points of view, etc, that how someone may view me would certainly be quite different from how another may see me, even if it was just from an online perspective.

To average all these perceptions in some way, and come up with a categorisable description, strikes me as being similar to finding an average letter for the alphabet. Casting all ridiculousness aside, I approached this challenge from as wide a perspective as possible.

I didn't conduct a survey on my commentsphere. Surveys are difficult to devise, and their results are notoriously poor reflections of what they are meant to convey.


My choice is to acknowledge my commentsphere for who they are – a wonderful group of people who, over the past few months, have helped to shape the blogger I am becoming. The participants in my commentsphere around have been patiently keeping me on track.

Over the period from early May 2008 until today they have provided me with much pleasurable discourse and I have learnt a lot from them. You may appreciate the pattern their names make in the Wordle blimp at the top of this post. Here they are in alphabetical order of first name:

List of contributers to my blog through comments.
Amazing comments

Word count of my commenters contributions.My precious commenters have provided me with an amazing 13, 833 words in comments! I sifted the comments, gathered in a single text file, removing all small words such as and and to, the and but, etc. The key words left behind were made prominent by their frequency, and are displayed in a Wordle blimp shown here:

Names of contributers in a Wordle blimp.
( 8 ) << - other Web2.0Wednesday posts - >> ( 6 ) ( 5 ) ( 4 ) ( 3 ) ( 2 ) ( 1 )

Ngā mihi nui - Best wishes


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the acknowledgment.

You said: "I’m not sure that a single personal brand exists."

I think personal brands don't work quite the same as the brand identity of a product. With a product or company, you can focus the brand around a handful of ideas or association. However, we're complex, so our brands are complex. I see it as more shades of the same brand than being different brands.

The exception, of course, is if you maintain separate identities online. I have a username from Beliefnet that is separate from my real name and professional identity (even though I haven't been active there in some time). I don't want to mix my religious views with my professional life, so that's all done under a pseudonym. If I was blogging about politics, especially if I wanted to get into arguments with people, I'd probably do the same thing.

But as far as your real name goes, I think it's all facets of the same personal brand.

Andrea said...

That's just cool. What a good idea to turn everything into a wordle...makes me want to do that on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I like what you did with this--a cool idea to get a feel for your commenters!

Just to clarify on the personal brand thing, though, that wasn't my definition, but Steve Woodruff's. Not that I disagree, but want to give credit where it's due. :-)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Christy!

I have to say that ever since I first started attending a Folk Music Centre in New Zealand, I have been aware of the labels that people tend to hang on others. I think that people tend to categorise personalities as a way of summing them up.

It may also be to do with preconceived expectation associated with that labelling that causes the 'brand' to be reinforced when that expectation is confirmed.

I have always reacted against any attempt by anyone to slot me into a people category, for no other reason than there is a likelihood that I'd be slotted into the wrong category. But, some would say I'm a missfit anyway :-)

Tēnā koe Andrea -

I could not get my Wordle to work at all at first. Apparently there is a Java plugin that needs to be installed.

For me, it was the simplest way for seemingly disparate information to be aggregated. It seemed to work in a manner of sorts.

Ka pai Michele -

Thank you for reminding me that it was not your definition but, indeed, Steve woodruff's. I'm not sure why I tend to do this. It's not the first time I've apportioned ownership of something written to the quoter instead of the author. Oops!

I have amended my post to give due credit.

Ka kite

samccoy said...

Ken, using Wordle and other tools of analysis within your blog is a great idea.

I use Wordle, but I haven't done a simple word analysis. To me, that seems to be an effective way to determine areas of interest among you and your colleagues.

I agree that trying to peg personality profiles or personal brands is often an elusive, if not ephemeral task. It is good to know yourself, yet I have found that person changes over time through experiences.

Britt Watwood said...

What a pleasant surprise to see my name listed...and what a neat way of using Wordle! Good on you!!!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tēnā kōrua Samccoy and Britt!

Haere mai Samccoy!

I am honoured that you appreciate how I've used Wordle. It is a new Web2.0 app for me to use. But then, that is what part of the assignment was about.

Wordle permits a degree of analysis on its own. The prominence (size) of the displayed word is a graphic measure of its frequency in the entered text before Wordle is run.

I didn't know how I was going to average a whole lot of disparate textual information associated with comments on my blog. Wordle takes the angst out of all that, I'm relieved to say :-)

Ka kite

Ken Stewart said...

Ken, this is a great post... I enjoy the transparency of thought you offer. Oddly enough, I have been pondering the same thing quite a bit lately and just wrote a post last night about it...