Renaissance Professional Branding presents challenges and complications.
Renaissance Professional Branding
I had the privilege of being interviewed by a top-level IT professional for their podcast a couple of weeks ago. (The ep hasn’t dropped yet, but trust me, you’ll hear about it when it does.) As I was introduced, they referred to me as a “Renaissance man.” While I, to paraphrase Professor Tolkien, “cordially dislike” that characterization, when someone you respect uses it, well, OK.
Thing is, I do have a wide variety of professional activities. My bread-and-butter work is in the IT sector, as a teacher/trainer. I started teaching at the high school level, specifically teaching social studies. Traveling 30+ weeks a year, doing computer training, presented an opportunity. I used free time on the road to write history books. So, now I have two professional skill sets. I market those skill sets.
Branding diverse skills
When skills obviously complement each other, branding flows naturally. Teaching computer subjects meshes with computer consulting. Teaching Enterprise Disaster Recovery and selling books on the history of New Orleans? Not so much.
The Business Networking International (BNI) folks told me, pick one or the other and focus. I get that. For a localized marketing strategy, being NOLA History Guy in a BNI chapter made more sense. The universe of potential consumers of my computer training in metro New Orleans is smaller than the potential buyers of history books. So, around town, I shunted aside the professional skills that, for the most part, pay the rent.
(Side note: I don’t do BNI anymore. The travel limited my ability to attend weekly meetings. I still fully believe in the concept of “Givers Gain, though.
To an extent, it’s not hard to separate my diverse skill sets on social media. On Da Twittah, I use @EdwardBranley for my computer consulting and training. I maintain a page on Facebook for seashell software, my consulting business. In 2010, I started a “social media consulting” company, YatMedia. That entity has Twitter and Facebook presences as well. So, it’s easy to point folks to my technical side. Promotion of YatMedia in particular flows from those presences. Targeted advertising eliminates confusion with the history stuff.
Edward the Author
I sell six history titles and four novels. While selling books I’ve written isn’t confusing at face value, it’s the diversity of topics that creates problems. Promoting my author skill set happens on @NOLAHistoryGuy Twitter account, NOLA History Guy on Facebook (page), and New Orleans Uncovered (group). So, there may be a disconnect/confusion when someone explores both sides of my body of work, one or the other usually flows OK.
The challenge of LinkedIn
LinkedIn presents the toughest challenge for Renaissance Professional Branding. You come to my LinkedIn presence. Are you there for my skills with respect to UNIX/Linux, Enterprise Storge, or Business Continuity? Or, do the history books interest you? Would you like me to speak to your organization on the challenge of regional disaster recovery, or on the history of retail shopping in downtown New Orleans? While Lafitte the Pirate is arguably more entertaining than Highly-Available Stretch Clusters, both have their audiences.
LinkedIn appears to be a jumble when you look at what I do. To help with that, I’ve some separation. I’ve got my personal umbrella, then seashell software and YatMedia underneath. I’m adding NOLA History Guy as a presence today. My goal will be to make an “omnibus” post daily or every other day that points to the specialized locations.
The bottom line
Renaissance Professional Branding is a work in progress. Please share your thoughts with me on what works and what doesn’t!
YatPundit’s Pub is now a Facebook Group
Visit YatPundit’s Pub
I’ve been “YatPundit” on the Internet since the 1990s. @YatPundit is my primary account on Da Twittah. When I joined the Book of Zucker, YatPundit became my political presence, as a “page” under my main account, which is my name. While this works for my writing, it didn’t work for interaction.
The original page concept wasn’t bad, but the d00ds went public and needed to provide a return to shareholders. That’s when they started extorting page owners. Post something on your page, and you got “notifications” suggesting you “boost” the post for a fee. Then came the notifications that sounded like a protection racket in New York. “That’s a nice page you got there. Pity nobody’s going to read your posts.” The d00ds limited the reach of page posts. Even if thousands of users “like” the page, it may only be visible to hundreds. Unless you “boost.”
Page owners pushed back. They asked their friends to set “get notifications” for the page. Page visibility increased. Still, it wasn’t a good situation.
The last US election cycle exposed Zuckerbook as a bad actor in the process. One of the steps taken by the d00ds to rehab the image was to shift focus from pages to groups. They clam to have tightened up pages, so Petrograd bot farms can’t just create them and spread misinformation. The effectiveness of this move remains to be seen.
To improve user interaction on the platform, “groups” now have a bigger role. The d00ds want users to stay on the platform as long as possible. With pages taking a back seat, groups offer users gathering places. Post visibility increased. Group owners set their own rules. While they’re not quite “safe” spaces, it’s an improvement.
YatPundit’s Pub – come on in
The Pub welcomes you! Be warned, the politics are left-leaning and the beer is strong. If you’re a Trump supporter, or you hate Mitch Landrieu, this probably isn’t a good place for you to be. Otherwise, speak up, lurk, do whatcha wanna.
Grab a slice of pizza, it’s Tech Wednesday in YatPundit’s Pub 29-May-2019.
YatPundit’s Pub 29-May-2019
Two brews on tap today for geek night in YatPundit’s Pub 29-May-2019. First, we review personal continuity and backup. Then, we pour the first brew of a flight on Personal Virtualization.
Western Digital Passport USB Drive
Hurricane season starts Friday. We add our contribution to the media blitz with a discussion of backup. Backup strategy these days starts with a 128GB USB stick. From there, advance to a USB hard drive, 1-4TB in size. A thumb drive requires you to manually drag-and-drop files for backup. Many of the portable hard drives now include utilities for backup. Run the utility, copy your computer hard drive to the portable.
Portable hard drives start around $60 in price. Western Digital offers solid basic options. While that may be all you need, advanced possibilities include solid state drives.
Cloud backup offers scheduling and off-site protection. Services like Dropbox and Apple’s cloud service provide CDP – Continuous Data Protection. Install the cloud service’s utilities on your computer. When you save files to the designated folders, the utilities save it to the cloud simultaneously. Cloud storage also offers wider availability. While you can do what you need on your regular computer, files backed up to the cloud can be accessed from other systems. Use the utilities offered. Other computers maintain copies of your data.
Computer virtualization extends the availability possibilities. So, with your work computer as a virtual machine, it’s easy to get back up and running after a hardware failure.
Which strategy is right? Consider Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) requirements.
We begin a 4-part flight on computer virtualization. Before virtualizing, set your goals. So, what do you want to accomplish?
- Windows on a Mac
- Running Linux on a Windows PC (or vice versa)
- Keeping older versions of Windows on a new system
- Other needs
Examine your needs and consider your approach to virtualization. Other brews in this flight explore the resources required to virtualize, and the software options.
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The Times-Picayune Farewell begins. I have concerns. (cross-posted to NOLA History Guy)
Screenshot of NOLA.com, 03-May-2019 in the morning.
The phone delivered a tweet with a story about The Advocate acquiring the Times-Picayune yesterday afternoon. I feel a sense of anxiety and urgency over this acquisition.
They’re firing the entire staff at TP/NOLA.com. This wasn’t a merger, it’s a purchase of intellectual property and physical assets. The humans that made NOLA.com what it is are on the street.
When Newhouse delivered their last big round of cutbacks at TP, I felt like something should/could be done to develop a platform in the market that offered a place for some of those laid-off writers to publish and get paid. Folks told me there was no way it would work. A discussion group on the subject failed miserably. Fortunately, Lamar developed the idea for TBB delivered big time in its first year.
TP employed a lot of talented people. Many of them know New Orleans is home, in spite of this setback.
The “digital era” of the Times-Picayune spans over twenty years. While Da Paper struggled, management and staff found a “digital voice.” Forays into video produced good, thoughtful discussion between writers such as Tim Morris and Jarvis Deberry. The bumps in the road were large, though. The first massacre at TP was when Newhouse fired all of the “digital” staff at NOLA.com. That staff operated separately from T-P. Unifying the dot-com with the newspaper offered the organization an opportunity to take charge. All this now shifts to history.
The stories of how NOLA.com grew, then shrunk, then merged with T-P connect with New Orleans’ larger stories in the early aughts and teens. T-P struggled like everyone else during Katrina. They rose above the #shitshow.
We must preserve these stories and memories.
I’m thinking this through, but we have to move quickly. People pack up and leave as soon as other opportunities present themselves.
Work with me to preserve the stories of the last twenty years.
Anti-abortion crazies are on the attack
Anti-abortion battleground in Virginia
The floodgates of accusations against Democrats in Virginia are related to the 2019 state elections. This November, both houses of the Virginia Legislature stand for election. The House of Delegates stands every two years, and the Senate every four. There is a very real possibility that Democrats can capture a majority in both houses. Since the governor is also a Democrat, the party can gain full control of both branches of government.
This is a big deal on two fronts. With the 2020 Census on the horizon, legislators elected this year will re-draw the state’s Congressional districts. Democrats can correct extreme gerrymandering if they gain control.
Democratic control of Virginia’s government mobilizes the crazy wing of the Republican Party. Anti-abortion activists follow a scorched-earth policy in their attempts to stop changes in restrictive abortion legislation. The disinformation attacks on are all-out and intense. This is where attacks on top Democratic elected officials originate.
I’m not sure what we can do for the men in charge now, but Democrats should be aware of the lengths these people will go to get their way. We need to push back against Republican activists as hard as we can.