The “Ka Edong” Brand

by Ka Edong on October 3, 2008

This is one lesson I learned from Anton while delivering our seminar “The Abundant World of Blogging” at PSI.

It is important to brand yourself and your blog.

This encourages stickiness of your audience with an assurance that the blogger will consistently deliver a unique “value” to the readers.

I won’t try to define brand here. But I do know how it works. Let me share a few experiences that tell me that I have to manage my brand better.

  • I was interviewed in 2005 by an expat working for an international organization. He mentioned that there’s this guy who writes extensively about m-commerce, comparing Smart Money and G-Cash. That’s me, Ka Edong of Technobiography.
  • I met a lady who works for one telco for one of the m-commerce services. I tell M that I write extensively about m-commerce. She starts to get excited, and starts to recall a name she encountered online, wanting to check if it was me. Yes, ako siya – si ka edong.
  • I introduce myself at blogging circles. When I use “Edwin Soriano” people don’t know who I am. When I use “ka edong” some people recognize my online identity, my “brand”.
  • (Downside) I was a bit harsh in a review of a wireless service, Wigo back in Dec2007. When I dropped by a Wigo booth at Powerplant a few months later, I asked a few questions (nang-usiyoso). When they asked me about my interest, I told them I wrote about Wigo. The guy gave me a dagger look and asked, “Hindi ka naman si ka edong?” Ooops! He obviously didn’t like meeting me in person.
  • I had the pleasure of talking to, a top executive of a telco. Q wanted to know me better and confirm Q’s impression of me from what Q read in my blog. Q explains that from the way I write, I come out too strongly as if I was one of the Tulfo brothers! Doh! That was good and honest feedback and I took it all well. Thank you Q for sharing. J
  • In a separate occasion (the trend is hard to deny), T from a different telco was hesitant to contact me although T knew that I am the person they wanted to tap for a project. T explained her hesitance to her officemate who happens to be my personal friend. T said: “Kilala mo si edongskey? Di ba mataray yun?”

When I shared some of these stories to my blogger friend Chris, he re-assured me that he knew it was not an accurate representation of the real Edwin. Chris explained: Online, readers miss out on a lot of the emotion, jest, depth and feeling behind the written word. A huge part of the real Edwin is unseen by your readers.

True. Thus the importance of more deliberately managing my brand as a blogger.

Apart from how people remember my online character, I have also received feedback like: “Ang dami mong blogs!” Some people say that in amazement or awe, some say it as if they were drowning in the URLs in my email signature.

Through the years, here are some of the brands I’ve disparately and inadvertently developed for myself. Count them with your fingers and toes!

  • siredwin my very first online moniker since 1997, alluding to dreams of being royalty e.g. “His highness! Sir Edwin of Worcestershire.”
  • ka_edong  my pinoy moniker. “Ka” is short for kaibigan or kasama. Edong is a nickname I made for myself in 1993, Filipino name for Edwin. Used extensively as a moderator in airfagev.com
  • Technobiography my first successful personal blog, since April 2005
  • www.edongskey.com Bought this domain circa 2006. I couldn’t get “ka_edong.com” because there are no underscores in domain names. I didn’t want to use kaedong.com (reads like “K-dong”). I chose edongskey alluding to “Edong’s Key” like “Craig’s Lis”. I didn’t pursue that branding track too much.
  • Mobile Tulay my consultancy blog. Highly unique and brand-able, but maybe another time.
  • Biyahe! my travel blog
  • Purposeful Penguin my personal development blog; very unique brand and a great trigger for myself.
  • www.edwinsoriano.com finally, I decided to get edwinsoriano.com before any of my namesakes get it. I know that this will be part of my long-term brand because that is my real name! 😉

Apart from these, I have other online presences at : eOFW.Net, pinoytechblog.com, pinoytravelblog.com, GuroSaCuyo

With all these disparate brands, I realize that I’m diluting my brand too far. I’m not able to leverage on a focused brand.

Decision: focus and build my brand

Here are a couple of action items I shall take.

  1. Retire mobiletulay and Biyahe! I haven’t been able to keep up the updates anyway. Redirect to Biyahe to Purposeful Penguin. Re-direct mobiletulay to Technobiography. Done 🙂
  2. redirect www.edongskey.com to new domain name edwinsoriano.com .
  3. Buy www.technobiography.com – Done 🙂
  4. Build-up Purposeful Penguin (will become purposeful.edwinsoriano.com) as my second personal blog.
  5. Use tagline: “by Edwin ‘ka edong’  Soriano”. Thus it will be “Technobiography by Edwin ka edong Soriano” . I want people to start recognizing that ka edong is the same person as Edwin Soriano.
  6. consistently use the email address ka_edong@edwinsoriano.com for public communication.
  7. Get on the social networks, use “ka_edong” as a username, or “kaedong” if format limitations exist.
  8. Consistently use one recognizable avatar. This will allow people to recognize me during face-to-face meetings.

Doing all of the above will consolidate into

Two main brands: “ka edong” and “Technobiography”

Two auxiliary brands which I will grow along the way: Edwin Soriano (www.edwinsoriano.com) and “Purposeful Penguin” (purposeful.edwinsoriano.com)

What do you think? Any additional tips?

ka edong
brand manager

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