TBYB! has intentionally operated as more of a static resource than a blog for the last couple of years. I stopped publishing new material for two main reasons. The primary one is that I felt I had expressed most of what I had to say about this topic at the time, and what was left was mostly for readers to implement the principles I had laid out. I noticed that I increasingly found myself acting in more of a cheerleader than teacher role, and that wasn’t as interesting to me (though in retrospect I think I probably under-estimated how valuable that role can be).
I was also ready to pursue other interests with my spare time for a while, so I’ve been doing many of the things I had advertised to myself about, and also have been developing some new ideas. It’s been a very fertile interlude.
Why start writing about personal marketing again?
New technology tools have emerged
Streaming media boxes
Long ago I envisioned displaying my own ads on the TV when it was idle, in much the same way a screen saver slide show operates on a computer. I reasoned that the room where we spend the most time would be a really effective place to insert a few reminders about the life we’d like to have. I tried connecting a laptop computer to the TV and although it sort of gave us the capability to that, in practice that wasn’t automatic enough for the system to work very well. I’ve found that if you have to get up and change something to see your ads it just doesn’t happen often enough. However hooking a Roku box to the TV has changed the game completely! Now it’s possible to automatically display a slide show containing any pictures I want when nothing else is playing on the screen. I’ll write a separate post about how to do that soon.
Smart phones and tablets
I started out making ads on a mobile phone that was just…a phone. (What do we call those now–dumb phones? How did we live like that?) Then I graduated to a Windows Mobile phone. Then a very cool but obscure Nokia Maemo. The device I have with me all of the time these days is an Android smart phone, and it’s probably the best tool I’ve ever had. But in spite of all of the many things it does for me I’ve really not used it much for personal marketing yet, so I really look forward to exploring the many possibilities. (Note that I’m admittedly naive about all things i, so I hope Mac people will also chime in with tips about apps and techniques you can use to advertise to yourself with iPhones and iPads.)
It has become increasingly the case that my data lives in the cloud and I use several devices to access it. Email, calendar, and my GTD to-do list are all examples of services I use like that every day. I’d like to figure out how a personal ad campaign could work the same way: I make it once and store some place like Flickr or Dropbox, and then am able to display it on any screen in my life–TV, computer, smart phone, digital photo frame, etc.
I think I might be too much of a geeky introvert to really embrace social media the way I see some of my friends doing, but it’s impossible for even me to ignore the increasing ubiquity and quality of tools available on the social web. For example, a reader recently suggested that Pinterest would be an interesting tool to use for personal advertising, so I should check that out. What other ideas do you have?
Personal marketing still works
Even though this project has been on the back burner a few ads have remained around the house, and it has been really interesting to notice them working as well as ever, even though I’ve not been (consciously) paying much attention to them. One example of left-over ads still having a rather powerful influence on my life is that our family is taking many more vacations–and enjoying them more–with each year that goes by.
It’s more relevant than ever
The recent Occupy movement has inspired awareness about the many ways in which there is an unhealthy imbalance between predatory corporate agendas and peoples’ everyday lives. Our specific concern here at TBYB! is the corporate dominance of the mental ecosystem, and the purpose of this site is to teach you how to get some of your own messages into your mental environment. I think perhaps the motivation and energy for this kind of very personal activism is present in a way that wasn’t as focused a couple of years ago.
I’m gratified by your feedback
Blogging is hard work, so it really feels great to hear about it when something I write makes a difference in your life. Long after publishing very much new content I have continued to receive regular positive feedback about this site, and I’m very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to write to me about how you love the idea of advertising to yourself, and about how it helps you. Hearing that it makes a difference is certainly part of what has inspired me to fire this baby up again.
What do you want to read about?
As I envision where to take the personal marketing experiment next, it will be really helpful to hear about what you would enjoy reading. Which content on TBYB! do you find most useful? Are you here looking for motivation or step-by-step instructions? Do you get more value from articles about marketing strategy, making ads, or delivery technologies? As I said, the purpose of this site is to teach you how to use personal technology to advertise to yourself, so what do you think is the very best way I can help you do that?