On blogging, identity and niches (plus a surprise bonus!)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about identity.

It’s easier than ever these days to invent, or reinvent, yourself.

I can think of a fair few people – online and in real life – who’ve started going by their first and middle names, or something else entirely.

To be fair, in an age where your name is increasingly your brand, I can see why. Back when I dreamt, vaguely, of becoming famous somehow, I knew I didn’t have the right kind of name for it. Now of course, I have no interest in fame, and I’ve firmly established my byline with my very unglamorous moniker. Even it wasn’t a bit too late, I don’t know what kind of other name would suit me – perhaps I’m just not imaginative enough.

And I’ve been thinking about my various footprints online. Between my accounts on all the usual social networking suspects, plus the likes of Quora, Instagram and other, more niche Kiwi sites (to say nothing of the many other social accounts I handle at work), it all adds up to quite a dizzying number.

The consensus seems to be that one unifying personal brand is the way to go. So no multiple Twitter accounts, for example (something I’ve seen many people attempt to maintain, and fail – or to do poorly, retweeting links constantly from one account on the other, more popular one. Which seems rather, er, pointless).

This is one area that I’ve actually made work, however. I share very different kinds of content on my bloggy Twitter account, compared with the tweets I send from my other personal account. On one, I chat to blog buddies, share fun links, inspiring links, and of course PF links. One the other, there’s a bit of quirk, there’s a bit of personal stuff, but there’s a lot more industry stuff and serious stuff – news articles and links about social media, communications and journalism. I don’t see a lot of crossover between the two, and unlike, say Google Plus, you can’t segment your updates by follower.

Which I suppose brings me back to this blog. If the new paradigm is all about a strongly defined, overarching brand and theme, am I painting in too broad strokes here? Do I post too much local content when my readers are overwhelmingly overseas? Is my posting more frequently about books and food (which doesn’t garner many comments, but which I love, and seems to be bringing in new followers) too random for older subscribers?

But when it comes down to it, building up separate niche blogs from scratch just falls under the too much work category. I’ve seen others succeed, and I’ve seen others fail.

I’m going to wrap up by doing something I haven’t done on the blog before: sharing links to some neat stories I’ve worked on recently (if I do say so myself). Hopefully you’ll find an interesting read or two!

Phoenix on the rise – the sharp young lady behind Phoenix Cosmetics, who started the label from scratch and is now known as the eyebrow queen.

Coworking 2.0 down under – shared spaces are all the rage right now, and collaborative workspaces are popping up all over the show.

The Go Vocab way with words – these young guys put me to shame with their clever language-learning venture.

A bootcamp for gaming bootstrappers – it’s never been easier to start working for yourself, and game designers are well placed for entrepreneurship.

Hapara, bringing classrooms into the cloud – a smart NZ startup blending Google and education, trying their fortunes in the Valley.


9 thoughts on “On blogging, identity and niches (plus a surprise bonus!)

  • Reply BrokeElizabeth March 16, 2012 at 09:10

    Thanks for sharing some more of your real life self! I especially liked ‘Phoenix on the rise’… Young entrepreneurs are *so* interesting.

  • Reply Invest It Wisely March 16, 2012 at 12:15

    It could be better to work for yourself as an independent gamer rather than some of the sweatshops some of the houses can become. I heard of a horror story in NZ where some employees were working upwards of 100 hours a week!

  • Reply Earth and Money March 16, 2012 at 15:15

    Interesting post! The issue of identity seems to really be proliferating across the blog community these days as more and more previously anonymous bloggers are coming out and revealing themselves.

  • Reply SP March 17, 2012 at 14:37

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing more of your wirj with us

  • Reply SP March 17, 2012 at 14:44

    and by wirj i mean life. I have no idea how that happened….

  • Reply First Gen American March 17, 2012 at 23:02

    I am not ready to out myself. The topics I blog about are totally different from the community and professional work I do.

    I like your taste in books and enjoy those alot. I a always looking for good books to read. I’ve also been in oz so I enjoy hearing that bit too.

    I follow a lot of blogs and dont have a ton of time so posting less often actually works better for me because I am less likely to miss stuff. There aren’t many daily posting blogs that I can say I read all the content anymore.

  • Reply Links Grow on Trees - Money Can Be Found | Earth and Money March 17, 2012 at 23:58

    […] of an Abstract Auklander muses about the issue of managing multiple online identities. When you have a lot of web-based projects like I do, this can sometimes be a big […]

  • Reply Lindy Mint March 18, 2012 at 06:06

    It’s difficult balancing a niche. I like to write about a lot of different topics, but I can always tell when a post is going to make my subscriber count drop.

    I like that you posted links to your work. I vote for more in the future. 🙂

  • Reply I’m all over the interwebs today | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander April 24, 2012 at 09:45

    […] By way of introduction, I’m a 2o-something from New Zealand. As an introvert in the creative industries, a blog was a natural outlet (seeing as I’ve been messing around on the internet for over a decade and writing for publication for a little less than that) occasionally (okay, once) sharing cool things I’ve worked on elsewhere. […]

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