“Marketing Me” is an important topic for those of us whose professions are built on professional services. I’ve blogged a bit about it here and here, with the main ideas being that we are responsible for our own careers.
Well, we’re also responsible for our own reputations. Chris Brogan, in his new e-book, Personal Branding for the Business Professional, addresses why you might want to build a personal brand:

The easiest answer is that you might want to be memorable, and you might want to transfer your real world reputation into the online world. A strong personal brand is a mix of reputation, trust, attention, and execution.

Do not let politics derail your on-line reputations. As we enter the next 50 some-odd days of political friction we are all finding ourselves polarized by our political preferences. And, for those in the middle, the tug of war has started for their “undecided” vote. I see it at work, at home, with my personal friends, and now on the blogs and microblogs of my colleagues.

For some reason, perhaps the anonymity of readership of Twitter and Facebook, I am noticing a lot of posts that I am certain would never come up in polite conversation, unless the group had been vetted for political affinities.

Here are a few posts I recently cringed at (redacted to hide the identities of the political parties involved):

  • tired of (so-and-so’s) lies.
  • happy he’s going to miss the base-pandering speech tonight.
  • should have just aired a train wreck instead, (like the [insert political convention of your choice]).

I won’t even quote from one e-mail thread I received. My only comment, after thoughtful consideration and much restraint, was: “please remove me from this conversation.” It wasn’t worth my reputation to reply what I really thought.

I am the first to chat politics, and I have extremely strong positions, if I know I am in like company. Otherwise, my lips are sealed.

What I am finding is that I have already stopped following a few people on Twitter, and have removed a couple of “friends” from my Facebook. I also unsubscribed to a professional e-newsletter that turned into a political rant.

Rather than build their on-line reputations, these people were destroying their’s, in my eyes.

And while the Palin/Clinton skit on SNL was hysterical for reasons we can all disagree on, let me spell out my words of caution: D-O N-O-T B-L-O-G O-N P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S.

That’s what the phone and the water cooler are for.

Now, go out and vote early and vote often.