Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


SXSW07: Global Microbrands

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 6:36 pm

SXSW07: Global Microbrands

After an abysmal panel with the Frag Dolls (no comment), it was refreshing to sit in on this panel about the truly inspirational way to market yourself.

David Parmet Owner, Marketing Begins At Home LLC
Gabe Rivera CEO, Techmeme
Hugh MacLeod Blogger, gapingvoid.com
Kathy Sierra CreatingPassionateUsers

Global Microbrand Because Real Jobs Suck

David Parmet: I’m going to introduce the panel and then go to watch Bruce Sterling.

Hugh MacLeod: Global Microbrand is a small business. Instead of doing local stuff, it has a global community of customers and users.

Because of blogs, you don’t need to wait 200 years to develop a microbrand.

If you income coming from all over the planet, then it’s recesssion-proof.

David Parmet: Schtick? It’s a yiddish word meaning day job.

Hugh MacLeod: They key is freedom and personal sovereignty.

Gabe Rivera: Techmeme is fueled by people’s global microbrands. You need an identity that transcends your day job. You’re not going to advertise on TV. You have to create things that are interesting and that people want link to.

Kathy Sierra: I wouldn’t have started this if I hadn’t lost my job at Sun. Some of the things I say might disagree with things that other people say you should do.

Global Microbrand Virtues:

Be Grateful Be Humble Be Patient Be Brave Show Respect Be Generous Be Motivating

Be Grateful: MOST important. Every moment people give us attention, it’s a gift. I never stop being grateful. It’s REALLY a gift.

Be Humble: When I look at someone’s blog, it’s all about you and that isn’t really giving something back. OUr job is to make people feel better about themselves in a legitimate way. Give them a gift.

Be Patient: It takes time for things to grow. We just wanted to build a blog, give what we can give, help people and respect the gift of attention.

Be Brave: Grow a thicker skin. As you become more popular, the critics will come out. Don’t have death by risk aversion. If you’re doing something that people love, then there are some people who are going to hate it. You don’t want EVERYONE to hate you.

Show Respect: If I can just give something back, it gives them respect for their time. Give them superpowers.

Be Generous: Give away whatever knowledge that I have. Give things away. If you can teach someone how to do something, then they will be better at what they can do.

Be Motivating: Put someone that someone else wants to say out there.

Talk to the BRAIN not the mind. Include pictures.

Don’t name drop. No one cares who you partied with.

It’s not about YOU!

David Parmet: You’re going to piss some people off.

Question: How do you show you’re grateful?

Hugh MacLeod: I will quote the nice people. I’m bad at responding to comments, but every now and then, I try to be nice. I don’t put up with trolls. I give them a link in a subsequent post.

Interesting people will drop themselves on your lap. If you acknowledge them. You’re better to link to the people who read your blog than linking to Scoble. Say nice things about people who read your blog.

You have to explain how busy you are.

Kathy Sierra: I can’t keep up with the comments. Respect people’s time with the posts that I make. I do the graphs so people can get the idea with the posts.

You don’t have to keep posting. If I can’t add value, I’m not going to clutter up your feed reader. It’s about respecting your time by putting quality up there.

Question from Tara Hunt: People believe volume is important. I felt so much better when I stopped looking at Technorati and I was able to write for myself and my readers instead of writing for the ranking.

Hugh MacLeod: English Cut blog. He never checks his rankings. He doesn’t care about Scoble or the other cool kids. He cares about making the best suits in the world.

Question: What are the different kinds of success?

Kathy Sierra: The few personal things that I have blogged about has been my seizure disorder. I posted about my deteriorating condition. One of my readers emailed me and told me about a new medication that I could try. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t found the new medication.

Hugh MacLeod: We were all being mutually generous to each other.

David Parmet: When you get out of college, you don’t have to work in the big glass box for Mr. Dickless.

Hugh MacLeod: The cheaper you can do it, the more freedom you’ll have.

Question: Climbing Technorati is just a different version of the glass box.

Hugh MacLeod: It takes about 2-3 to hit critical mass. I want EVERYBODY to have a global microbrand. It will make a happier world.

Kathy Sierra: My job is try help someone else to be the only one that does what they can do.

Question from Chris Messina: The more that I can help other people, the better I feel. Stop thinking about having an audience. Think about the three or four people that you are writing to. Just like writing an email. The people I choose to work for represents me. My contributions determine what they are going to be in the end.

Hugh MacLeod: The best way to get approval is to not need it.

Question from Alex: Every time you blog, you’re putting thing out there that people can hang onto.

Hugh MacLeod: Social Object: The future of marketing. The way you talk to people when you start conversation is usually kind of random. I want to be with you Please name your terms. I’d rather have you download my pictures and print them up than get the four dollar profit. Say, this is me, please take it. Create things that people can have for free and give to their friends.

We have an inherent need to bond with our fellow creatures. We love people. We want things to make easier to love people.



  1. That was inspiring. I like Kathy.

    Comment by B. — 3/14/2007 @ 8:27 am

  2. Laura — thanks so much for all your nice comments from SXSW!

    And it was great to finally meet you in person…

    Cheers, Kathy

    Comment by Kathy Sierra — 3/14/2007 @ 8:08 pm

  3. Thanks for your kind comments! We all on the panel had a blast, the audience was great and there were some great questions. I hope we can do it again next year.

    Comment by David Parmet — 3/16/2007 @ 7:33 pm

  4. I love the Global Microbrand Virtues, especially about being grateful. Being loyal to your readers by linking to and also commenting on their blogs pays of more in spades than trying to get on the celebrity bandwagon. The whole philosophy is so right on. It’ll only end up empowering and protecting you when executed well.

    Comment by Jeff — 12/30/2007 @ 4:29 am

  5. I do not believe this

    Comment by fornetti — 8/31/2008 @ 3:10 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2003-2007 Laura Moncur