Threadless Uses Their Prints Packaging Tube To Show Their Personality

My new Threadless Print Instructions for what to do with the Threadless Prints Tube Packaging

I’m definitely a fan of the online community t-shirt company Threadless.

They recently launched a new product… Prints.  It’s some of the best t-shirt designs put on a thick stock poster.  I had never bought one before so I thought I’d give it a shot.  The walls of my apt need some decoration.

I puchased the ctrl + z print pictured above.

In the package was a piece of paper (pictured above) entitled “It’s Not Just a Tube.”  It goes through and shows you all the fun things you could do with the packaging tube that the print came in.  Examples are things like… ninja sword, giant spit baller, peg leg, and others.

Most of the items that they mentioned are just all out silly but what the piece of paper does is show the personality of the company.  I already felt like I had a relationship and knew the people at Threadless, through their Web site.  Getting this sense of who the company is just endears me to them more.

What kind of personality does your company have?  Do you show it?  If so, how?

Curious About the Power of Word of Mouth? Just Ask Barack Obama.

Was reading the Washington Post this morning and found a story about Barack Obama kind of interesting. Despite mass media telling a town other wise, people still hold onto incorrect rumors spread via word of mouth.

On the television in his living room, Peterman has watched enough news and campaign advertisements to hear the truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service. But on the Internet, in his grocery store, at his neighbor’s house, at his son’s auto shop, Peterman has also absorbed another version of the Democratic candidate’s background, one that is entirely false: Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The article goes on to say:

Does he trust a local newspaper article that details Obama’s Christian faith? Or his friend Leroy Pollard, a devoted family man so convinced Obama is a radical Muslim that he threatened to stop talking to his daughter when he heard she might vote for him?

When things get out there into the open, whether they’re accurate or not, there is almost no stopping it.  People talk.  People believe what their friends say and will repeat it, regardless of the truth.

I think this shows that mass media isn’t what it used to be for starting a nation-wide personal dialogue with voters.

Politicians need to find a new way to get to know and form a relationship with the voters.

The Guitar Hero Widget – A Great Teaser for the Video Game

A lot of my friends have been talking about the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games but I haven’t really gotten into them yet.

The other day I found the Guitar Hero Widget over on one of the Wired blogs.  Inside the widget, they give a mini version of the game.  It includes three songs.  It’s really cool.  Instead of using a plastic guitar, you’re using your keyboard but none the less it’s fun.

It gives me a taste of the game and would get me potentially excited about buying it.

Making a widget is SOOOO genius for a video game company.   If i’m a big fanboy of the video game, I’d send this widget to my friends who were yet to be converted so that they too could get a taste.  It empowers word of mouth advertising, which is the most powerful advertising technique.

So… Go play with the widget.

(Note: I would have embeded it here but I use WordPress.com and they don’t allow me to embed third-party flash. *frown* )

Where’s your personality?

LOL… I have a problem.  I like buying books. It’s this impulsive thing.  I can’t walk into a Barnes & Noble without walking out or wanting to walk out with a book.

The book I’ve gotten myself into recently is Rohit Bhargava‘s new book Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back.” I have to say that it’s a real gem.  GO BUY IT!!!

A lot of PR books today advise you on new and more effecient ways that you can sell your soul for the sake of advancing your company and your product.  This book posits the exact opposite thesis.

Rohit talks about how if you want to really endear your customers with your company, brand, and product,  you have to show your personality (or open the kimono as Merlin Mann likes to call it.)  This is SOOOO true.

Hmm… what are the brands, companies, or people that I’m excited about?  As my readership, you can probably identify them just as well as I can because I talk about them A LOT.

Murky Coffee (I’m sitting here right now)…  It reaks of personality.  Whether it’s the eclectic collection of tables and chairs, their Arlington location’s house-turned coffee shop, or their amazing coffee.  It’s personality.  Just look at their slogan, “Totally committed to serving the people of Washington with the best damn coffee there is.  Yes, we said damn.”

Gary Vaynerchuk/Wine Library TV…  Yeah, there is LOTS of personality.  If you don’t get what I mean, tune into any of the episodes of Gary’s shows.  Meet Gary in person and HELLO there’s personality.  You can’t help be endeared to him and what he’s doing.

Fun side note: Coincidentally, the one time I’ve met Rohit was at a game of Werewolf that was initiated by Gary at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas.  Had a GREAT time.  Wish I could have stayed longer.

Leo Laporte/This Week In Tech…  Seems like I’ve been listening to Leo Laporte’s podcasts forever.  I think it started in college when I first saw Call for Help on Tech TV.  I instantly became a fan.

Now if opened up my iTunes podcast section, you’d see most of the TWiT podcasts.   There is something about listening to Leo and his merry band of brethern which is just really fun.

On one show they gave out an AWESOME t-shirt idea that I’d totally buy, “I hear a voice in my head and his name is Leo Laporte.”

Rochester Institute of Technology… My alma mater holds a special place in my heart because of its great level of personality.  It’s just different.  The people, place, and personalities are just different.  My favorite professors were the ones that let their passions and personalities show.

Capitol Hill… Of all the places I’ve lived, it is by far the favorite.  Why? It has personality.  You walk by a building and it will have a plaque saying “Established in 1820.”  In the distance, you see things like the US Capitol Building or the Library of Congress Jefferson Building.  You get to walk through things like Eastern Market.  It’s the kind of stuff you can’t get any where else in the country… PERSONALITY.

There are so many others that I could talk about, like BarCamps, One Laptop per Child, Apple Computers, Naked Smoothies, Twitter, Flickr, Iron Chef, and many many others.

What brands, organizations, or people are you passionate and excited about because of the personalities that they exhibit?  How do you exhibit personality?

When You Live Online, Your Life Is Your Portfolio… Live Accordingly

On my post yesterday about starting to think about your personal brand early my friend Samantha Warren left a very wise and true comment.

Students should also be aware of the repercussions of damaging their personal brand while in college. I don’t think some students realize that potential employers will Google them during the interview process. I have seen some less than flattering pictures of candidates at previous employers.

We live in an age where we live our lives online.  We broadcast our every thought and desire via things like our blogs and Twitter.

We also hang out with people who are happy to broadcast our lives for us.  I know that when I hang out with some people, I’m almost guaranteed there will be a photo of me on Flickr or Facebook or both later that day.

You can’t live your life in fear of saying something stupid.  If I did that, I’d probably never say anything.  I’ve said plenty of stupid things on and offline.  BUT…

You do have to think about what you say and what you do. Once what you’ve done is out on the Web, it’s really out there forever.

Samantha Warren recently wrote a blog post “How Many Pieces of Work Should you Include in your Web Portfolio?”  When you  live your life online,  your life is your portfio.  Everything you’ve done will be there to represent who you are and what you do, for better or for worse.

The Google Search Engine Results page for you almost becomes as representative of you as your resume.

How does that make you feel?  What do you see on your Google page?  Embarassing college party photos or a body of work that you’d be proud of?

How to be noticed and have people market you…

Tonight I was having dinner with a friend  whom I have a TON of respect for.   We both agreed there are more and more people who want to be noticed. There are a lot of people in the Web space and everyone wants to be the ones to bubble up to the top.

The thing is too many people do it the wrong way.  They come off as wanting to sell themselves (no one likes that guy) or they really spam people with their personality.  People just tune spam out.  You don’t wanna become white noise.

For me, if you want me to notice you, you need to first do good work.  Be good at what you do.  Give it 100%.  Don’t half ass it.

Second… give without  thinking about what you’re going to get in return.  Help people just because you wanna help.

These are the people that will stick on my radar and I’ll even go out and tell my friends about them. People like to see their friends succeed.

For example, when you’re looking for a job, you’ll have people who’ll go out of their way and help you search.