Un-SQL Friday: Branding?

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Following in Midnight DBA’s more interesting half new blog fest topic.

My branding? I don’t have a clue. There, I said it. Up until very, very recently, I’ve just been doing stuff. I haven’t really even tried to think about what the plan was. Write a book? Sure, sounds like a cool challenge. Write another one? Well, the last one didn’t kill me, OK. Start a blog. Jump on Twitter. Pick a Name. Could I pretty please present at PASS?

I’ve been very focused on building my name, but I honestly never thought about my brand. It’s just not something that occurred to me. Yes, I am that slow. Now recently, stuff has been happening and I’m suddenly concerned about it. I too went through FreeCon with Brent Ozar (blog|twitter). And that got me thinking. Yeah, I’ve been doing all this stuff, but to what point? MVP? Yes, absolutely, but even that, why? I honestly don’t know. I’ve just kept going, running as hard as I could, winning a few, losing a few (let’s not talk about SQL Standard, ok?) and building the name… but I haven’t been building the brand. What’s more, I haven’t had a target that I was doing all this for (except the obvious). But, now I’m sort of there. I do sort of have this brand, Scary DBA, kilts, execution plans, MVP, query tuning… Cool! Now what?

I’ve been putting thought into it ever since Freecon (and I have a blog post percolating about FreeCon, still need time to assimilate & type) and I’m still not entirely sure what my plans are, but I have some plans now. We’ll see how things go with them. Oh, and my words for my brand wheel:

  • Direct
  • Instructive (gone through three words here, still not happy)
  • Useful

Am I? I’m not sure. But those are the goals I’ve got and the approach I try to take.


  • Goals are good, but I would argue that it’s not a sin to be directionless, if you’re on a good path. We don’t exactly know where the MidnightDBA brand is going, if anywhere,but it sure has been educational and fun.

  • Just watch the order, eh…

    * Direct
    * Useful
    * Instructive

    with a .08 limit!

    Branding aside, you’re widely recognized as a guy who gets it, and can help others to get it, too.

    That’s a great place to be.

  • Jen – I would argue that it *is* a sin to be directionless because it’s a lot of work to change your branding once it’s set. For example, if you suddenly decide you want to be a consultant or a corporate spokesperson, you can’t change to that kind of course quickly when you’ve already built up a Howard Stern image. 😉 Obviously you don’t want to change to that kind of direction, but for someone who’s still thinking through their future, they need to put some thought into their brand before they start painting it out on the net.

OK, fine, but what do you think?