Monday, June 11, 2012

The Importance of Showing Personality

This might surprise some, but I’m a fan of America’s Next Top Model. I love watching the struggles toward making dreams come true. However, for a long time I didn’t understand why the judging panel would assess the wannabe models, not only on their performances as models, but on their personalities. In my naïveté, I kept wondering why personality should even matter. If the model can do the work, and do it well, then that should be enough.

I’ve come to realise that personality matters a great deal—no matter which profession you choose to take. A good personality will open doors that would otherwise remain shut. A strong personality is remembered over a hidden one. Personality will make friends.

In the comments on my previous post about Overcoming Insecurities to Build a Brand, Denise (L’Aussie) said that she came across a blogger whose response to anyone sharing anything personal about themselves was, ‘No one cares about you. They only want to know what’s in it for them’. While it’s a bleak view of humanity, there is a certain element of truth behind the statement too. And here’s why:

Have you ever checked the twitter feed for any reality TV show? I don’t recommend it because there’s so much nasty there. The haters don’t care about the stars. The TV disconnects them as if the stars were mere characters rather than real people with real hopes and real dreams. Because of this, the haters feel justified saying things they’d never say to a friend or an acquaintance.

While blogging is a little different than reality TV, if we hide behind facts and figures and not share anything of ourselves, then who will care about us as writers, social networkers, or whatever else we do? No one will know us, which means, if we don’t have something specific they want, they won’t have a reason to care, to follow, to support—as they would a friend.

In the same comments, Medeia said in regards to people showing a little more of themselves, ‘It makes me feel closer to the people I’m interacting with’.

Many of us hide behind pseudonyms and avatars, which is no problem if that’s the way you want to go. What’s important is showing personality so the real you shines through.

Which bloggers stand out to you? Why do they stand out?

Photo: My cow slippers, as requested by @BethKanell via Twitter. Go ahead and laugh, but they are super comfy, they keep my cold feet warm, and I love them.

Note: It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, so I’m a little behind on blog visits. I’ll catch up as soon as I can.

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69 comments:

  1. Personality is soooo important. A friend of mine who works for NBC reality shows advised me that 99% of the reality shows pick people solely based on their personality, or extreme lack thereof.

    I can't do America's Top Model. The cat-fighting is enough to make me ill. lol

    Good post and very spot on.

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  2. The bloggers who stand out to me are definitely the ones that show me who they are, either in their own blog posts, in comments left to me or to other bloggers, or whatever. The ones who aren't afraid to show their nerdy sides, but who are ambitious and productive and always busy living their writing dream, or trying hard to live it. :)

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  3. I engage better with a blogger who isn't afraid to show who they really are.
    How odd you have Queen's Birthday weekend now. We had ours last weekend.

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    1. It's even odder that everywhere in Australia celebrates the Queen's birthday this weekend--except Western Australia.

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  4. I'm on a new phase to make sure every time I post a blog now it has something useful to those wishing to move ahead with their writing (this is made easier by my 'blog less' approach). So, for me, blogs like yours and Denise' stand out for me because you offer advice and L'Aussie offers great writing prompts. I also love Shannon at Book Dreaming because she has always worked so hard to encourage others.
    It's always fun to learn little tidbits about bloggers though, and nice slippers :)

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  5. I don't know if I stand out, but I try to be myself when I blog. It's a fine line between maintain privacy and sharing me. The bloggers I connect with and help promote the most are the ones whose personalities shine. Elana Johnson and Talli Roland are two authors who come to mind.

    As for ANTM, I was loyal for seasons, but gave up after a couple of questionable winners. Besides, Tyra was driving me crazy. She has TOO MUCH personality!

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    1. Yep, I think you stand out as a blogger because of your honesty. And yes, I do agree there have been some questionable winners on ANTM.

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  6. I just love bloggers who are. No ulterior motive!

    Love your cow slippers! Enjoy your long weekend!!

    Take care
    x

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  7. I definitely want to know personal stuff about the author to give me an idea of what shapes their writing and experiences. I love all TV programmes about behavioural psychology such as Spendaholics etc. and autobiogs rather than biographies. The personal detail informs an author's writing, surely?

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    1. yes, I like those kinds of shows as well. It's always interesting to see what makes people tick.

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  8. That's the whole purpose of why authors use social media, isn't it? To connect with others? We have to be personable if we want to build relationships.

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  9. I definitely prefer reading blogs where the author's character shines through. Great post. There's a fine line though. I have a feeling I step over it often. Oh well.

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  10. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Funny I've never thought of this before, but it's so true. YOU definitely stand out, Lynda!

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    1. Really? I didn't think I did. Thanks, Morgan.

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  11. The cow slippers are tots adorbs :) I used to have a pair of huskie slippers, back when I was obsessed with Alaskan huskies & specifically the story of Balto. But sadly their heads busted open and the stuffing fell out, so I had to get new ones. :( No animal heads, although they look like sheep.

    I agree with everyone who is agreeing with you that personality is important. I used to be very reserved online, hiding behind a pseudonym. That works very well for some people, but it didn't work well for me. I found it hard to be me with a different name, and I discovered that people *like* me in real life so I should probably be me online too.

    All of my favorite bloggers have great personality, and tend to be quirky, funny, and insightful. Some of them use pseudonyms and manage to do all of that as well. Good on them. I couldn't do it.

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    1. Yep, it's all about what works for you. Everyone is different.

      I'd LOVE a pair of huskie slippers!! I have to replace my cows every two years and it's getting harder to find them in adult sizes.

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  12. While I think that most people do think about themselves (you sure see it when people are driving), there are those that give of themselves for no other reason than unselfishness. I think our writing community is like that. For example, you put the cover of my book on your blog? Why? I like to think you did it because we're friends. Thank you. I am going to be putting up some book covers on my site today too.

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    1. oh wow, thank you so much for putting Make Believe on your sidebar. I hadn't expected that, but I really appreciate it. And yes, I see us as friends.

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  13. While I think that most people do think about themselves (you sure see it when people are driving), there are those that give of themselves for no other reason than unselfishness. I think our writing community is like that. For example, you put the cover of my book on your blog? Why? I like to think you did it because we're friends. Thank you. I am going to be putting up some book covers on my site today too.

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  14. I think Elana Johnson is one of the best at being honest in her blogging. One of the reasons her blog has done so well: admitting fear and insecurities; and then there's Katie Mills too.

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  15. Great observation!! And the photo is perfect. Your description of reality shows as impersonal reminds me of the HUNGER GAMES mentality. A great "reality show"--until the audience started getting attached to the teens in the arena! More emotional investment, and then the audience started objecting to the deaths at last.

    I love the interpersonal connection part of blogging and interacting via online venues!

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    1. oh, that's a great example. You are so right. Trust a writer to make that connection with Hunger Games ;)

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  16. Excellent post! No matter the job personality matters. I agree with what Alex Cavanaugh said, he just said it first and better.

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  17. Linda - I'm so glad I had the chance to actually see the cow slippers! This follow-up to your previous post is so pertinent. I believe the better you share your personality on a blog, probably represents how well you're able to create personalities in a book. (I'm still working at it!) When you think about, allowing others to see a bit of one's self is not only more beneficial for the blogger...it's just more fun!

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  18. I agree completely - I think that sometimes bloggers try to hide behind a veneer of professionalism or attempt to create a new persona for themselves that rarely works. Showing your true personality is the best way for bloggers to trust you and give a damn about what you have to say.

    Thanks for the insight :)

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    1. Professionalism is still important, but persoanlity should shine through.

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  19. I always love the bloggers who make me smile, whether it's in their comments, or their posts. Lately I've come to the realization that I need a bit of more personality in my blog and writing. Maybe some cow slippers would help. . . ;)

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    1. cow slippers help everything... as does chocolate ;)

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  20. Love the slippers!

    I enjoy bloggers who are real, and share little bits of themselves without going "all about me" in every post. I enjoy bloggers who engage/include us in the conversation.

    Great thoughts here!

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  21. It's a fine line, as others have said. While I do like to learn more about my fellow writers, I really don't want to know about their personal problems or what they had for breakfast. I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them laugh, what makes them sit down and write everyday. So, yeah, I like bloggers who are open and honest about who they are, but without getting TOO personal, if you know what I mean. That's what that ugly reality TV is for. :)

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    1. yes, yes and yes! Well said.
      By the way, I had cereal and banana for breakfast ;)

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  22. The bloggers which stand out to me are the ones that project warmth and that can come through in a number of ways.

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    1. I support this opinion. Warmth usually creates the best image.

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    2. Thanks Suze and Dezzy. You guys would make a good team--both of you come across as warm people, both I love :)

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  23. I prefer bloggers who don't grandstand, who are transparent & honest. I want to feel like I really know them. As for me, I'm a WYSIWYG & I enjoy others who present themselves in a similar vein.

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  24. You are a braver woman than I. I would have never admitted publicly that I watch America's Next Top Model. But now that you have done it, I'll admit it: I love it. Whew! I feel better!

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    1. Yeah, I hesitated on the publish button ;)

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  25. Very interesting. Yes, lña personality is very important, in a way almost everything else in a person.

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  26. Great post! Personality is important. I wish it were easier to express mine. Sometimes I'm a bit shy, and I fear confrontation. But I love getting to know the author of each blog I visit.

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  27. how true it is! we root for or talk about the memorable characters! we need to write noticeable characters in our books too! i see it in school too. i remember the names of the troublemakers and helpers the most!

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  28. I think people tend to prefer meeting a "real face" and getting to know the "real person."

    Pseudonyms can be useful depending on your outlook, however, it's hard to build relationships with an avatar.

    Nice post!

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  29. "Many of us hide behind pseudonyms and avatars"

    hum....

    The funny thing is I remember special avatars more than faces. - Like cow slipper for example. It stands out to me and I remember it. It also show personality.

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    1. For sure, if you stick to one avatar across all your networks, then it's not a problem. Each person has to work out what works for them, what they are most comfortable with. I know plenty of writers who use avatars, but their personality still shines through, which is what is important. I chose to change my flower avatar to an image of the real me because I don't think my personality shines through as easily.

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  30. Cute slippers! I need a pair like that.

    I agree, personality is everything. If you are entertaining, people will be more interested in following you, and you'll build relationships.

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  31. Very cute slippers! And I like America's Next Top Model too, and I can see what you mean about personality. Personality draws a person in or can turn a person away (if it is a bad personality).

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  32. Wonderful post, as always. I definitely appreciate when people are honest about who they are and I find that I gravitate toward personalities (in blogs and in life) that are sincere and decent and at least a little humble.

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  33. I love ANTM. It is fun getting to know people. That doesn't mean to say we can't keep parts of ourselves hidden. There are parts that should stay private.

    I think we should be ourselves. Be who we are and write what we write without apology. There will always be haters no matter what we do.

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    1. Aw, are saying I should keep my mutant toes private? ;)

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  34. Love your slipper! I use to have big bear paws and now I have dogs. My son likes it when I make them bark and chase him. Personality does matter a lot. There are a lot of bloggers out there with tons of personality. Nice ones. I don't bother with the negative comments or posts. All the drama I want is in books!

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  35. The bloggers that stand out for me are the ones that have interesting things to stay. MPax and LG Smith are two of my faves because their blogs are always entertaining and fun.

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  36. Hi Lynda. Great to see the follow up post. That comment still worries me, but there's a lot of truth in it as you say. And I do watch a lot of shows that have a twitter stream - The Voice twitter stream is especially encouraging to team leaders and contestants alike. I guess they're heavily edited and maybe all the nasties aren't up on screen.

    Denise

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  37. That's ok...the Queens party is super reason to be involved non blog activities. Love the cow slippers. Mary

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  38. It was nice seeing my name here. :)

    Lately I've been getting more Twitter followers who only post links and info about their books, and who thank people for following them back. There's simply no content about themselves, imo, just selling their products.

    I love visiting a blog to see interesting pictures, quotes that resonate with someone, pieces of flash fiction or snippets of wips, posts about where bloggers went on vacation, meme responses that show another side to a blogger...that's what keeps me coming back. I agree with Suze about warmth.

    I adore the slippers. I've been on the lookout for cute footwear for home.

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  39. Cute slippers!!! I so agree about the need for personality. Honestly, that's what keeps me coming back to blogs (such as this one), and ignoring others. If I feel no connection with the blogger, well, what's the point? (Over-sharing is the opposite end of the spectrum, of course, but that's usually amusing at least :)

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  40. That's one of the reasons I use social media... to connect with others who are like me... hence personality is crucial:) Great post.

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  41. Personality does matter, and it comes through social media so clearly. Hope the Queens birthday celebration was lovely. I heard it was.

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  42. I know it's not always easy to share our personal stuff, but I love to read and visit blogs with lovely photos and know a bit more about them.

    Nas

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  43. Most of the bloggers I follow are really open about who they are. I read about feelings and reactions to writing and real life from them. They are the ones that rise to the top of my Reader list.

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  44. a downfall of all this technology is you cannot "see" the personality...so what people tweet, blog, text may not reveal their true self....a reason out court system makes the jury actually see the defendant...so they can judge the personality with their eyes too.

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  45. I am certainly not my true self on my blog. I'm far more vulgar, crude and politically incorrect in person. :P

    Some people would argue funnier too.

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  46. I find I connect and care about the bloggers whose personality shines through. I become bored with bloggers who do not shine through their posts. Great post Lynda..

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    1. I just throw it out there. Love me or leave me. I try to get along with people and for the most part I do.

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  47. I found super fabulous friends through blogging. They didn't have 10,000 followers, they weren't always consistent with blogging, and sometimes, their posts were ridiculously funny (read: insane). But I LOVE them. I love them because they are REAL, they have BIG HEARTS, and they are who they say they are. So, YES, personality is important. :D

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  48. I have to agree with you and most of the comments here. I prefer bloggers whose personality is evident, that can be in a witty way or even grumpy as that can be endearing too. You need to get a sense of the person and it's hard to connect with someone if you don't really know who they are.

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  49. I love to get to know bloggers through their posts. I think you should be able to get a sense of who a blogger is in all their posts, and now and then there's nothing wrong with a personal post.

    I can understand there's a realm of overdoing it, i.e. all your posts are pictures of you, your family and stories about your life. You're pretty much just doing it for yourself, and your family members at that point. But there's always a way you can make the post relevant to others. You want to post about family vacations, so make it a "do I recommend this location" post.

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  50. I follow a lot of blogs and many of them stand out to me. All for different reasons. One thing about all of those blogs though, is that I like the person. That's a must for me...

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I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.