Vin Diesel. To many he’s just another muscle bound action man – the modern day equivalent of what Schwarzenegger and Stallone were in the eighties. I’ve even heard one girl say “It’s obvious he hasn’t got a thought in his pretty little shaven head.” So lets take a closer look at Vin Diesel and see if there’s anything behind the muscles.
- Vin used some of the money he got from acting to set up a video game company because he wasn’t happy with games being tailored to the lowest common denominator.
- One time, when out driving a new car he’d bought after a movie deal, he came across a car wreck and pulled a newly wed couple out from the flaming wreckage of their vehicle, saving their lives and giving them a hell of a story to tell their friends and family.
- He’s such a big fan of Dame Judi Dench that he filled her dressing room with flowers as part of his request for her to play a part in the Chronicles of Riddick.
- Vin’s favourite hobby is to play tabletop role-playing games. He has a level 35 elven mage in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign he’s been playing for over twenty years. One of his tattoos says “Melkor” which is the name of the character.
- During the filming of Pitch Black the contact lenses he wore to make his eyes look “scrubbed” became fused to his corneas thanks to the intense heat.
So, not really the sort of things you’d think about when you think of Vin Diesel eh? I was especially surprised with the Judi Dench thing myself.
There is a point to all this by the way. This post is the first in a series of posts I’ll be making about your online brand – the way you portray yourself and how people think of you based on that image.
“But Mik, I don’t have a brand. I’m just myself here, exactly like I am offline.” Sorry pal, but that’s a load of bull. Let me put this simply, even if you were online twenty four hours of every day you wouldn’t find enough time to be yourself as you are offline. Typing takes longer than speaking and allows you to think carefully about how you phrase things which, for a lot of people, changes how the things they say are received. Plus there’s just not enough time in the day to do the pursue all the interests you have offline when you’re online. Even the fact that we can’t see what clothes you’re wearing or how your hair looks changes the image we get of you. So you see, you’re not completely yourself online.
“So what am I then, Mr Smarty Pants Furie?” I’m glad you asked that, as it’s kind of the entire point of the post. Online you are the sum of your posts, your photos, your comments and your forum threads. This is the brand you portray to people as yourself while online, and it’s quite important. Employers have been searching for people by their names on social sites for a while now in order to get a feel for the person before they hire them (in some cases before they let them get to the interview stage). You might be the best in your field and the nicest guy around but if all your posts are about how much you drank last night or how you’re so hungover that you’re skipping work today then you can kiss that dream job goodbye. I’ve heard stories of family members looking people up online when they’ve found out that one member of their family has got a new girlfriend. Sure, you’re a sweet girl and really seem to love him and everything, but can you explain why your web page is covered in skulls, pentagrams and photos of death before his family scares him off you? As you can see, our online profile can have several effects on your life offline. More and more we’re starting to be defined by how we portray ourselves online. The same thing affects us online as well.
- Do you really expect to be popular on the forums if you have a swastika as an avatar? Sure, you may be Buddhist and know that it’s the symbol for universal harmony, but to most of the world it’s a Nazi symbol and you’re not saying anything about Dharma. By all means have the symbol as an avatar, but make sure you explain it’s original meaning in your signature else you’ve no-one but yourself to blame when people start giving you abuse.
- Want people to show you respect yet you’ve got a page full of hateful posts insulting anyone based on their colour, religion or sex? That’s just not going to happen, no matter how much you try to justify it.
- Trying to convince people that you’re all about peace and love. You’d better not be getting into constant arguments with people and hurling insults at them then.
There’s so many other things about the way you appear online that can affect the way people view you. If you have the same name on other networks then you’re easily trackable. That’s not a problem for most people but what you do in one place can affect you everywhere.
- You may well be good friends with a lot of girls, but if your Youtube profile shows you’ve been uploading porn then people are going to start thinking differently about you.
- People may feel sorry for you when you get into an argument with someone, but if they follow your profile to other sites and see you constantly in fights with people on the forums they’ll start to think of you as trouble.
- Do you get a lot of people thinking you’re a sexist pig? Can you really blame them if your Flickr albums are full of half naked girls?
The point is that while it’s pretty easy to put forward all the positive things about yourself online, you can just as easily ruin all that by adding negative concepts to your personal brand, whether you aim to or not. This post could be three times as long and still barely scratch the surface of how our personal brand negatively affects us both online and offline, but for now I’ll leave it here.
Next time I cover this subject, I’ll discuss creating and maintaining a positive online brand from an original concept and beyond.