I hate when I have to fill out those damn registration forms for the 50 or so conferences and events I speak at each year. I know that whatever I put into the form will appear on the damn badge that I'll need to wear.
Name? ___________ Check – got one of those. Hmm... No space for middle name, so I guess I'll put both my middle name and last name into the last name box.
Company? __________ Well, let's see. I don't have one, really. Maybe I'll use the title of my latest book instead.
Title? __________ Oh boy. Do I put speaker? Author? I'm not a consultant, so that won't work. For a few weeks I used "evangelist" but then someone asked me what church I preached at. These days I put "Viral Marketing Strategist." It sorta describes what I do. But more importantly, it is a conversation starter while waiting for a (free) drink at the 5:00 happy hour in the exhibit hall of the event that I just keynoted.
Unlike me, Nick Selby has no trouble naming things. The man is a genius. His blog is called, get this, Nick Selby’s Blog. Isn't that a great name?
Anyway, Nick must have really dug deep into my virtual stuff, because he says: "David Meerman Scott is a weird combination of flack, author and self-proclaimed ‘anti-gobbledygook’ vigilante."
Yup. Busted. Except, Nick, you forgot a bunch of other things like speaker, blogger, board member, collector of Apollo moon mission artifacts, and really bad surfer. I could go on.
Nick also found a title I was using a while back "Thought Leadership Strategist" (I know, it's a bit lame. Like saying you’re a "Web 2.0 guru"). Nick asks: "I mean, I agree with, like, so much of what he says, but what the &%$# is an online thought leadership strategist?"
(Disclosure: Nick used a really, really bad word for which I substituted &%$#.)
Nick continued: "Okay, okay, maybe I get it. But I'm calling my mom now to see if she understands it."
Nick: Hi, Mom.
Nick’s Mom: Hi, darling.
Nick: What’s an online thought leadership strategist?
Nick’s Mom: No idea.
Yes, I'm still struggling with what to call myself and I thank Nick for pointing out the difficulties in assigning a title to what I do. For now, I'll stick with "Viral Marketing Strategist." Anyone got any better ideas?
I thought about copying Nick's title and just being "head." See what I mean? Nick is an absolute wizard at naming things. I mean the man's title is "head" – is that awesome or what?
Nicks bio: "As head of The 451 Group's security practice area, I engage regularly with vendors and the enterprise IT investment community, speak with vendors, and analyze business and technology in IT security. I use this blog to record several types of information I gather in this process, but most of all as a vehicle to freeze in time some of the best marketing blather and gobbeldygook corpo-speak handed to me in lieu of English."
But then I called my mom to ask her what she thought of this title choice:
Me: Hi, Mom.
Mom: Hi, honey.
Me: What’s [insert Nick’s title here].
Me: Mom, hello? Mom, are you there?
Nick Selby, keep up the good work. We've got to continue to ferret out gobbledygook wherever we find it. I salute you too, sir!