Friday, September 26, 2014

Online Persona Unsolicited

I recently signed up for and scrutinized my font, domain name and page design for so long I neglected going to the gym and running errands before work (thanks, Internet). I chose neutral everything to evade criticism, but what version of myself would ever leave out the color red or select Times as my font? After reviewing several other websites, I found one that did everything I was advised not to do---it refused to conform. After thinking this through long enough to actually make myself LATE for work, I realized that this person's persona matched the type of thing he does for a living. I’m talking about San Francisco columnist, Mark Morford, who writes edgy articles for SFGate. He’s offensive, vulgar at times, he attends Burning Man annually and in his spare time, teaches yoga in the Castro to stay centered. Is it fitting that his website font looks like it was pasted from a Sons of Anarchy Netflix preview? Yes. The answer is yes. And the answer to the question posed inwardly is that online representation is a personal one. Decide first who you are, then decide what you’re selling from your skeletal closet. Filters are fine, tact is fine---unless you’re Gordon Ramsay and are paid for being a jerk---but if those things are not unique to you, there’s a good chance you’ll fall into the milk-toast conformist category that nobody finds interesting. Be interesting, be yourself, but by all means, represent yourself, because bad publicity is better than no publicity at all, or so they say.

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