This post from the profanely hilarious “Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley” blog has been around for a while. But now that I’m thinking through aspects of my own image, I came back to it.
The piece does a beautiful, obscenity-riddled job of taking down the overinflated imagery that’s spilled everywhere since social media convinced every technologist that they’re thought leaders and must look the part.
Here’s one of the few passages that I can quote without spewing Anglo-Saxon variations all over the page: “What in holy hell motivates someone to upload this type of picture as a representative photo? LinkedIn I conceivably get as an unsubtle attempt at resume-bolstering — “I am competent enough to speak to a crowd of idiots; love/hire me.” — but popping this on Facebook, where your “friends” are, exudes such look-at-me desperation I almost feel as sorry for these jackholes as I do anyone who has to come into direct human contact with them.”
I’d say you don’t want to look that desperate on LinkedIn, either. If you haven’t read this piece, do it — then don’t post a picture like these.
Mazel tov to The Other Matthew Rothenberg for a story in today’s New York Times that features a fetching photo and his views from high atop the Flickr digital-photo empire.
As my own social graph will tell you, the presence of two high-tech Matthew Rothenbergs has caused a bit of confusion at times and reminds me of the inconclusive negotiations my father had back in the dear, dead analog days of the early ’60s with The Other Jerome Rothenberg, an architect who also happened to write poetry on the side.
And while my wife Nancy Tobin remains at No. 1 in the Google sweepstakes, she’s in a similar pickle: For some reason, art attracts Nancy Tobins like poetry attracts Jerome Rothenbergs and Internet technology, Matthew Rothenbergs. She vies with a sculptor, a photo researcher, and a sound artist.
I’ve suggested to Nancy that they all team up and do a big “Nancy Tobin” show. In the same vein, my doppelgänger suggests “we go in 50/50 on something like whichmatthewrothenbergdoyouwant.com , put a line down the center, our clickable faces and bios on opposite sides of the page, and then pile on the google juice till it becomes the number one search result for our name. We’d be providing a valuable service to the world! (Well, the very small yet incredibly savvy portion of the world who is looking for a Matthew Rothenberg).”
I’m in … There can never be too many Matthew Rothenbergs!
At a recent dinner we had in honor of Diwali, some of the newer employees were referring to me as “the guy on the home page.” I feel a little like the fellow who brandishes his pants on the Subway advertisements! (Seriously, it’s been a lot of fun and a very good chance to improve my media chops. I’m also considering buying some nubby ties.)
That was funny: I actually did get mistaken for the other Matthew Rothenberg while on the road to promote “You’re Better Than Your Job Search” with Marc Cenedella.
The last night of our tour, in Chicago, our host at the bookstore introduced Marc as CEO of TheLadders — then began to read off my bona fides as social technologist for Flickr! I stopped her and cleared up the confusion.
It was actually a great object lesson in our career guidance to Google yourself, the better to be ready for any identity UFOs.
Albatross! Get your albatross!
Has this ever happened to you? Having set up this blog a couple of years ago, I feel like I need to feed it occasionally … But in the meantime, all the social networking I’m doing with the Che Underground blog, Facebook, Twitter, et al. — not to mention my day job at TheLadders, where we’re currently figuring out our blogging play — has me everywhere else on the Web but here.
And while I don’t suffer from introversion or a lack of ego, there’s just so much truly personal detail I want to commit to the unpredictable currents of the Web.
I’m comfortable treating this blog as a beacon for old friends looking for me online and as a spot for the occasional G-rated family bulletin, akin to those newsletters people used to mail around to their friends (“Nussbaum Family News: All’s well at our house … Richard broke an arm, and little Melanie won a star for her finger painting. Oh, and Darlene and I have agreed to see other people. Happy holidays!”)
Anybody else wondering exactly what to do with their personal blogs as other social-networking options proliferate? I’d like to hear suggestions!
PS: Everybody here is in fact doing wonderfully. Nancy is selling a gratifying amount of art in this down economy (and blogging admirably!); the kids are rockin’ at school, and the veterinary bills have been surprisingly modest. Here’s to 2009!
When old friends and I started the Che Underground blog February 16 (my 43rd birthday), we didn’t know how successful we’d be at reassembling the sights, sounds and sociology of the early-’80s San Diego music scene it covers.
So far, it’s exceeded my fondest hopes — and today we got some very welcome recognition from Wired.com. Music editor Eliot Van Buskirk did a terrific piece on our scene and our site, including a lovely sidebar showing some of the participants before and after.
“‘We were ignored by the media and harassed by the powers that be, hated by the San Diego Police Department and still the shows went on, the zines were printed and distributed — all pre-internet and pre-home computer,’ said Toby ‘Lifehater’ Gibson via e-mail. ‘Most kids today have no clue how much work that was back in the day, making the stuff by hand, advertising however you could and distributing on foot.'”