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Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Personal branding - johnkweber

I never thought that personal branding had any place in the little mans world. However it seems I have been purely mistaken. When starting out with my internet endeavours I thought about it for around 5 seconds and decided to sign everything I do with johnkweber. This I did mostly because I was not really sure of any other cool name to use.

So I started this branding image type thingy and soon found out that if you use a name often enough people will start reffering to you by that specific name (in this case BRAND) so even at work to most of my colleagues I am now johnkweber (spelt more like john kweeber) I dont really mind since I started it all but there are exceptions when branding can do damage as shown below. Specifically mistakes made by others.

In hindsight I guess it turned out ok because the is only really one johnkweber that uses it the way I do. The flipside ofcourse is the problem that I have currently with Google syndicating news articles. Around 1989 there was an article in a newspaper in USA somewhere regarding a certain John R Weber that allegedly raped and murdered his wife Emily Weber. Google seems to have done a scan of the page and the OCR was performed incorrectly and suddenly John R Weber now becomes John K Weber.

This proves to be quite a nightmare to fix since ater having searched in Goolge for johnkweber as I usually do once a week at least (to thank people that have mentioned me in their blogs etc) I saw this article that goes "John K Weber rapes and murders his wife Emily Weber"

In my endeavour to get this fauxpas fixed up I chatted to Google a number of times and it moved the article to the very first page on the google search for johnkweber. This due to the fact that the answers and arguments are open for everyone to see on google answers. DAMN.

Be that as it may I went to JHB to talk to a number of guys about a security product I was punting and when they did a MEMEX search on my name (checking if I was who I say I was) it turned out the Memex took the Google article as its main tagline since it scored so high in Google Ranking that it must be me and nobody else. Try explaining this whole scenario to non internet type people. Man what a time I had. Anyway they all seemed to end up seeing the light and now at least I have documented in one more place (this blog entry) what the real story is.

So when thinking up brand names be careful what you wish for as weird things crawl out of the woodwork when you start owning something, even a name.