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image Your friends and mine, Justin Kownacki and Chris Brogan posted a couple of articles today about personal branding. 

There are lots of interesting points. However, I believe there are lots and lots of grey areas regarding whether you are ‘you’ or a brand.

Justin points out that. (meaning his blog)

If you read this blog because you’re interested in my opinions, or because you know me personally, then you view me as a person.

If you read this blog strictly because you’re interested in social media, then you see me as a brand — one of many within your realm of information consumption.

I wouldn’t say I really, really know Justin. He and I have met, talked, etc on a couple of occasions.  He seems like a nice enough guy. A very nice guy even.  Passionate, knowledgeable and smart etc.
Personally I read his blog because I’m interested in social media and his opinions.
What does that make Justin to me?  Person or Brand?

I think there is a lot of who you are or what you do.  Also, what circles you’re in. 
Example.  As a firefighter, in my community I am branded as a firefighter. To a lot of people it is who I am, not just something I do. However, there are those other people who see it as something I do, thus it isn’t who I am to them. If that makes any sense.

There are those people online who definitely brand themselves, likely on purpose.
Example. If you state "I am the Internet" you’re branding yourself.

What comes to mind when you hear iJustine? Andy Quayle? Chris Brogan? to me, we three have different levels of branding. Depending on your perception and in what way you know the person.

I believe personal branding is all about how you portray yourself in general and to specific others and at the same time, others’ perception of you.

Is it good to brand yourself? hmmm I guess it’s down to the level of branding. If it’s all you become, an all consuming branding of sorts, then I’d say it isn’t. you’re bound to loose yourself at some point because I don’t believe all you can be is a brand. There has to be some ‘person’ in there somewhere.
You can’t help but live two lives to an extent. You need to. It’s up to you as to how you balance you/your brand.

ok, enough of a rant for now. What do you think?