social.media_

Personal Branding is an interesting topic.  I’ve written about it here and here and here!  So, I have some experience in thinking about Personal Branding, counseling others on the topic and trying to stay current with the opinions of thought leaders in this area (@DorieClark and @garyvee are two of my favorites).

In my mind, a Personal Brand is simply the manifestation of your professional reputation.  It also answers the question: When people hear your name what do they think?

Most people agree that your professional reputation carries more weight as the world becomes increasingly interconnected.  The factors driving this increased interconnectedness are numerous, but two important aspects are the importance of social networks in the workplace and increasing job mobility.

Since these factors don’t seem to be fading away, I’m of the opinion that EVERYONE needs to be concerned with their Personal Brand.  This view is not shared universally and the latest example is a Wall Street Journal blog post entitled Why Self-Branding Isn’t for Everyone by  Alice Marwick.

There were several elements of the piece that I disagree with, but here are two of the most problematic:

“Self-branding advocates suggest you promote this persona through every possible tool, from YouTube videos to Learning Annex classes”.  Well, I’m an advocate…and I’ve never said or advised this behavior (nor have any of the advocates I enjoy reading).  Instead, the overarching message is that social media is a TOOL and it should be used to communicate your brand as appropriate.  And be selective in using the platforms that will reach the audiences you want to inform or influence.  There. That feels better!

“Are you a social worker, teacher, or engineer? Do you work as a barista or in retail? Self-branding won’t do anything for you, because the type of public image that self-branding requires isn’t valued in these occupations”.   Not true!  First, recruiters for all sorts of jobs across all industries use LinkedIn and other social media to vet candidates for positions.  And to find out additional information that does not “fit” on a traditional resume.

But that’s just one reason this view is defeatist.  Another way Personal Branding can function is to provide a platform to develop and share expertise.  An engineer or teacher or social worker who blogs about best practices, follows and comments on industry trends and tweets informative articles from other industry leaders is a lot more likely to be seen as a great job candidate than someone who keeps their head down and toils in obscurity, don’t you think?

The access to professional connections and opportunities to learn from experts is nearly unlimited in our new, interconnected world.  Missing out on these opportunities can only be described as foolish.

There were other points from Ms. Marwick’s piece with which I disagreed.  And she has a book coming out next month entitled “Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age” that will likely create even more blog posts.  I’m happy to promote her book, even though I take exception with many of the points here – and I’m happy she will benefit from it.  After all, that is how the Personal Branding works in 2013!

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Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) today tweeted that a shorter NBA season would alleviate the problem of empty seats NBA arenas. His comment reminded me of this post I had suggesting a shorter regular season. Hope you (and Mr. Rovell) enjoy this “classic” from 2007.

+++++

As mentioned in the previous post, their has been considerable angst in the sport community about the NBA Playoffs. In particular TV ratings are cited as an ongoing issue, punctuated by the perception that the two best teams (PHX and SA) did not meet in The Finals. Remedies suggested have included eliminating Conference considerations in creating a 1-16 NCAA-type bracket and an NHL-esque re-seeding after each round.

But the view from here is that the post-season problem is merely a symptom of the ragged, lackluster regular season. For example, I conducted a quick study of the top two per game scorers on each team, presumably the most recognizable players to casual fans. These sixty players averaged 36.1 minutes and 20.2 points per game. They include most of the marquee names in the league. Yet, they averaged fewer than 68 games played, meaning on average each missed nearly 20 percent of the season. Wouldn’t owners/coaches/fans/TV networks want to maximize these players’ appearances? While some major injuries are always going to occur, a shorter season, with more consistent off days, would likely increase the ability of stars to shake off nagging injuries.

Thus the solution should be overhauling the length and scheduling of the regular season. As currently presented, the NBA schedule is and 82 game slate. My proposal calls for a drop to a 66 games, home/away against each of the other teams (29 x 2 = 58), plus an additional home/away against the four teams within a division (4 x 2 = 8).In addition to lessening player wear and tear, another advantage of shortening the schedule would be increased practice time. A frequent complaint about the league is that there is not enough time to implement coaching strategies during the grind of a season that has a lot of travel and few off days. By decreasing the number of games, more coaching and player development could take place.

From a fan perspective, fewer games would make following the league an easier proposition. Particularly, if the schedule were set up with a maximum of three games per week scheduled Wednesday through Sunday. By shuttering the league on Mondays and Tuesdays, fans could enjoy a few off days before gearing up for more games, similar to the rhythm of the NFL season. The majority of games would happen on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with a national doubleheader on Thursday and Sunday. The only exceptions to this format would be Christmas and MLK Day games that are fine traditions.

Such a system would allow fans to establish viewing patterns and would drive media coverage on Monday and Tuesday to review the previous week and preview the next week’s slate. It would also spell the end of “the four games in five nights” problem currently employed for long road trips.

The 66 games could be played over the 23 weeks from roughly November 1 through April 7. This system would allow for a full week off around the All-Star game and have the regular season end the week after the NCAA Final Four, thus allowing the NBA to begin its post-season riding the wave of hoops frenzy following the Final Four.

Increasing in season viewership, limiting injuries and providing a better overall product during the regular season would likely do more to fix the perceived playoff problem than any other proposal.

A  week ago, Chip Kelly to the NFL talk was dominating Wild Card Weekend.

Looking back on Kelly’s decision to stay at Oregon, here are some reflections on what transpired:

1) I thought he was a lock to go.  But I was pleased Chip did not take an NFL job with a team that has a lousy roster.  If/when he goes it should be the right situation because…

2) Phil Knight knows a winner when he sees one.  The reported extra million dollars per year to keep Kelly is chump change to Uncle Phil and others like him because…

3) It is cheaper to “own” a college program than a pro team!  OK St (Pickens), Maryland (Plank) and Oregon are examples of NCAA programs with an acknowledged major booster.  This trend will pick up in the next ten years because…

4) There are a lot of schools without that major donor that are seeking one because…

5) In men’s hoops & football, facilities are the key to recruiting, but college president’s are reticent to commit limited campus resources to improving facilities.  This is important to Chip Kelly because…

6) While many suggest Oregon’s recruiting will take a hit as other coaches point out Kelly’s flirtations with the NFL, as long as the Ducks’ facilities keep up (or exceed) the competition’s, recruiting won’t take a major hit because….

7) The succession plan is in place.  as long as recruits think OC Helfrich is lined up to keep the Ducks’ high octane offense in place, most recruits will be willing to commit.  And that is important because…

8) There is almost no doubt that this circus will happen again next year!  Watching Kaepernick last night only increased interest in NFL decision makers in pursuing forward thinking offensive minds.  And with Belichick’s admiration for/adoption of some of Chip Kelly’s principles, this story is NOT going away!

Had a great time chatting online with KNBR morning radio personality Kate Scott today.

The topic was the Giants free agent signings  – with a focus on Marco Scutaro.

If you are not following along on Twitter (my handle is @sprtsmktgprof), here is the transcript:

KS: Perspective. RT @JimBowdenESPNxm: What does $78m buy? For Red Sox Napoli & Victorino for Giants Pagan, Scutaro & Affeldt. #SFGiants

‏SMP:@katetscott 78 mill gets Sox Napoli & Victorino; Giants Pagan, Scutaro & Affeldt – my guess is both teams regret it #WrongSideOf30

‏KS: @sprtsmktgprof Hahaha. Is your nickname Mr. Positivity? 😉

SMP: @katetscott Nope. Just a realist. Using another team’s foolish spending for “perspective” doesn’t work.

‏KS: @sprtsmktgprof I suppose we agree to disagree then.

SMP: @katetscott What if on Opening Day 2012 #SFGiants had a chance to sign Pagan/Scutaro to these deals? #WouldHaveBeenKilled

KS: @sprtsmktgprof True. They hadn’t helped win a World Series yet though, so there’s that.

SMP: @katetscott Right! But #SFGiants WS win is ALREADY secured & the players were ALREADY paid! Or does no one remember #AubreyHuff?

‏KS: @sprtsmktgprof We allllll remember the thong. But guys that hit singles and play defense are less risky than betting on HR hitters, no?

SMP: @katetscott Yes – less risky. But track record for 37 yo middle infielders ain’t great!

‏SMP: @katetscott Krukow said “no one expects Scutaro to be a full time starter at the end of this contract” – then why pay him like one!

‏KS: @sprtsmktgprof Well, they’ll probably be paying Panik pennies at that point, so it’ll even out.

‏SMP: @katetscott We shall see! Fun chatting. And agreeing to disagree!

‏KS: @sprtsmktgprof Hahaha, I agree. I mean, um …

SMP: @katescott A reasonable summary of expected value & outcome of Scutaro deal: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/12/5/3731642/mlb-winter-meetings-marco-scutaro-signing-sf-giants

A firestorm was created today when Gregg Popovich sent four players home today, rather than have them face the Heat in Miami at the end of a 4 game in 5 night block.

This incident reminded me of a post I penned five years ago – about re-engineering the NBA schedule to make it more fan-friendly and create a better product on the floor.

It went something like this:

As mentioned in the previous post, there has been considerable angst in the sport community about the NBA Playoffs. In particular TV ratings are cited as an ongoing issue, punctuated by the perception that the two best teams (PHX and SA) did not meet in The Finals. Remedies suggested have included eliminating Conference considerations in creating a 1-16 NCAA-type bracket and an NHL-esque re-seeding after each round.

But the view from here is that the post-season problem is merely a symptom of the ragged, lackluster regular season. For example, I conducted a quick study of the top two per game scorers on each team, presumably the most recognizable players to casual fans. These sixty players averaged 36.1 minutes and 20.2 points per game. They include most of the marquee names in the league. Yet, they averaged fewer than 68 games played, meaning on average each missed nearly 20 percent of the season. Wouldn’t owners/coaches/fans/TV networks want to maximize these players’ appearances? While some major injuries are always going to occur, a shorter season, with more consistent off days, would likely increase the ability of stars to shake off nagging injuries.

Thus the solution should be overhauling the length and scheduling of the regular season. As currently presented, the NBA schedule is and 82 game slate. My proposal calls for a drop to a 66 games, home/away against each of the other teams (29 x 2 = 58), plus an additional home/away against the four teams within a division (4 x 2 = 8).In addition to lessening player wear and tear, another advantage of shortening the schedule would be increased practice time. A frequent complaint about the league is that there is not enough time to implement coaching strategies during the grind of a season that has a lot of travel and few off days. By decreasing the number of games, more coaching and player development could take place.

From a fan perspective, fewer games would make following the league an easier proposition.  Particularly, if the schedule were set up with a maximum of three games per week scheduled Wednesday through Sunday.  By shuttering the league on Mondays and Tuesdays, fans could enjoy a few off days before gearing up for more games, similar to the rhythm of the NFL season.  The majority of games would happen on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with a national doubleheader on Thursday and Sunday.  The only exceptions to this format would be Christmas and MLK Day games that are fine traditions.

Such a system would allow fans to establish viewing patterns and would drive media coverage on Monday and Tuesday to review the previous week and preview the next week’s slate.  It would also spell the end of “the four games in five nights” problem currently employed for long road trips.

The 66 games could be played over the 23 weeks from roughly November 1 through April 7.  This system would allow for a full week off around the All-Star game and have the regular season end the week after the NCAA Final Four, thus allowing the NBA to begin its post-season riding the wave of hoops frenzy following the Final Four.

Increasing in season viewership, limiting injuries and providing a better overall product during the regular season would likely do more to fix the perceived playoff problem than any other proposal.

Charles Barkley consistently calls Tim Duncan “the greatest power forward ever”.

Maybe he is right. But Karl Malone certainly merits consideration.

In fact, he scored more than 14,000 MORE points than Duncan in his career – which is approximately how many points Alonzo Mourning scored in his ENTIRE career.

A few other numbers:

Rebounds Malone 14,968 – Duncan 12,533

FG% Malone 51.6% – Duncan 50.7%

FT% Malone 74.2% – 68.8%

Blocks Malone 1145 – Duncan 2469

Steals Malone 2085 – Duncan 822

Assists Malone 5248 – Duncan 3428

Turnovers Malone 4524 – Duncan 2854

PPG Malone 25.0 – Duncan 20.3

RPG Malone 10.1 – Duncan 11.3

This list does not seem to provide compelling evidence that Duncan is CLEARLY the better player.

Likely, Barkley’s conclusion is based in large measure by the Championships won by the TEAMS Duncan played on.

I thought the Analytics Revolution would move us past such simplistic evaluations as counting rings to determine the better player.

Close your eyes.

Go ahead, do it.  Wait – don’t!  You won’t be able to read this post!

Just imagine Oakland A’s sensation Yoenis Cespedes – but in a Red Sox uniform.

Or Yankees or Phillies.

I ask you to do this mental exercise not as a prediction of where Cespedes might land after his 4 year $36 million contract expires.

Instead, it is to illustrate the level of  national media coverage for a player who is ninth in the AL in homers (5), fifth in RBIs (19) and fourth in swiped sacks (4).

If a twenty six year old Cuban rookie were playing for one of the high profile, East Coast media darling teams we may be seeing a Linsanity-esque level of discourse.

Alas, playing in Oakland has brought little national attention – yet.

If Cespedes keeps playing at this level (OPS .834) the media coverage is likely to bloom as the All-Star Game comes into focus.

We shall see.