I got your brand right here.

I like your blog Dan Benjamin, I really do. But Good grief.

Look man. I’m all about the conversation, you know? And Dan, I get your point. Everything, when it comes down to it — is about the conversation. And the trust that that the person I’m having that conversation has in me, and I them. And we’re visual creatures. Having an anchor to tie to that trust-building is all fine and good.

But it’s more than logo, image, and avatar. The trust, the words, the work, and yes maybe even my silly pup avatar is my brand. My brand is me. And those things are me.

You know what? At the end of the day, I’m not trying to build my Andre the Giant Posse. I’m not shouting with a megaphone to build what amounts to an impersonal relationship a few thousand followers. I’m just here with my work, my words, my one-at-a-time-relationship building with friends, family, co-workers, and random JoeBob on the street that find some humor or bemusement, or connection in silly phatic messages or any of a number of other ways real people build real relationships.

To Dan, and others like him that might feel the same — my “squiggles”, my “swooshes”, and damn sure the pictures of my pups are me. And my “brand” They are not an attempt “to hide my identity, or to create a make-believe personality or facade.”

Buddy, we — and the others like me, are as Work Wide Open than those whose “voices are heard above the crowd” And are just here, on the ground, trying to make a little bit of difference. Not quite ever content with the status quo, but finding contentment in the “Esse Quam Videri” — “To be, rather to seem” — that is the voice that matters most of all in this life. That inside voice we connect with others. Not this blog, not my visage, — just that “being”

So next time you want to make a point about the value of consistency and logo recognition and branding? Don’t use impersonal popularity and some cockamamie horse manure about how not using faces and cartoons is a “facade” to make your point.

I’m more real than my “avatar.”

And oh btw, so’s my dog.