SchipulCon in two days – Oct 45, 16, 2009 at the Houston Zoo

What started in 2007 as the Tendenci User Conference, was canceled in 2008 due to a very unwelcome hurricane, has now morphed into SchipulCon 2009. Planned by @MagsMac, the conference has a great lineup of speakers including Deirdre Breakenridge, the author of PR 2.0.

The full SchipulCon 2009 Agenda is posted on the site. And registration is here.

And of course a HUGE thanks to our sponsors without which this would not be happening!

Southwest Airlines Porch Swing Desserts YouData
Bright Sky Press Coffeegroundz St. Arnold's Brewery
Mashable OneShot Tequila Web Entertainment Guide
Israeli Wine Kolache Factory 1560 The Game

Chron Post: The Personal Brand Era Cometh

The Personal Brand Era Cometh

In August of 2007 Tom Peters wrote in an article titled The Brand Called You in FastCompany magazine:

It’s time for me — and you — to take a lesson from the big brands, a lesson that’s true for anyone who’s interested in what it takes to stand out and prosper in the new world of work.

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Wikipedia defines Personal Branding as: “the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands.” A personal brand is how others perceive you. It may or may not reflect who you really are.

I find the evolution of Personal Branding similar to the evolution of advertising, initiated by Ogilvy, written about in a series of articles on the subject of positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout, and then distilled in the book Positioning. Advertising shifted from “product feature advertising” to “positioning” in which a product needed to occupy a position in the mind of the consumer to break through the clutter.

To put it another way, your personal brand is a managed account that has a very real effect on your earning potential, your legacy and your future employment.

So while I agree with Peters that The Brand Called You is important, I’d like to extend that thought and propose that in fact we are entering The Personal Brand Era. And it is an era that will be disruptive to the business status quo.  Yet, if managed correctly, the Personal Brand Era can be profitable for both individuals and the companies for which they work. The success of your personal brand and the success of associated corporate brands are additive; they are not a threat to each other.

finish reading The Personal Brand Era Cometh on the Chron

the TRAGEDY of the commons

no dumping allowed CC heyjoewhereyougoingwiththatguninyourhand
CC heyjoewhereyougoing...

When we say “the tragedy of the commons” I really think it should be stated “the TRAGEDY of the commons” to indicate that it really is an all caps TRAGEDY.

Summarized on wikipedia as

(the the tragedy of the commons is) a dilemma in which multiple individuals acting independently and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest will ultimately destroy a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long term interest for this to happen.

Hardin’s original article on the tragedy of the commons expands on this.

Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.

Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

Rationally it makes more sense for me to pollute. Rationally it makes more sense for me to over-fish. Treachery in fact pays. In a recession it is logical to steal. There is a reason you see “no dumping” signs by the side of the road – rationally it is more profitable for people to illegally dump than to pay the dump fee. It’s wrong, it’s unethical, it ruins the commons, but it is in fact rational.

And there are only three ways to avoid the tragedy of the commons. ONLY THREE.

  1. Legislative (ex: make it against the law/rules),
  2. Material (ex: tax it like a parking meter or a toll road) or
  3. Social Pressure (ex: make a public negative example of the person, Stockades).

That’s it people. That’s it. There are no other solutions.Yes get creative within those three, but that’s it folks.

People are NOT going to sing Kum Bay Ya and do the right thing if it is in their rational best interest NOT to. Period. Some people will, but all it takes is one rational actor hiding behind Machiavelli. And there is always one. I have written about this before in the three motivations of people.

Understanding this makes listening to political debate painful. Tax the rich to provide health care to everyone else? What is the rational thing to do? To use as much health care (the commons) as possible which would bankrupt the system (irrational result). You would need rules (rationing) or fees (taxes and copays) or social disclosure (social pressure, but not a good idea for health care privacy). Ask a sociologist, that won’t work.

But this post is not about health care. It is about a tragedy of the commons in the form of an office break room. And while I rationally understand that it is in everyone’s rational best interest to not clean it at the end of the day, it is still a tragedy to observe. Rationally they are right to observe it is always miraculously clean in the morning regardless of if they participate in the cleaning!All of the benefits with none of the work. Woot! (a tragic woot, but woot none the less).

Hopefully the team will forgive me for using material motivation (removal of coffee) to encourage dialog and transparency (social pressure) to find a solution (process and procedures to ensure cleaning). And as the person who cleans the coffee pot more than any other, hopefully I’ll be down to only cleaning the coffee pot once a week as I lock up and head home. I can live with once a week.