It is silly of you…

Judging by the bandwagoneering, Google+ has reached mainstream appeal.
To wit, this eager self-promoting entrepreneur who was brought to my attention by his deciding to circle me, presumably with the intent to boost his exposure.
Because I'm a peach, I'm happy to oblige, so I give you Bryant O.C. Wallace, a cautionary tale in e-marketing.

Here is me, having my proverbial morning coffee while checking email and g+ as a matter of course, to find I have a new e-friend.

Bryant Wallace added you on Google+ 

It is worth notice for me, as I'm barely public and not exactly a household name, plus I've only just joined the social networking dance with google+, where I'm not precisely doing my utmost to get crazy popular.
So, since I still can afford the time to be curious about people who decide to circle/follow me, and thanks to deeply-ingrained habits (because whose company I keep is usually company I choose to keep), my natural response upon noticing an unfamiliar name circling me is to look them up.

[/me clicky on profile]

InCircles: 278, HaveCircled: 11. 

Looks like the guy just arrived, is hungry and not very discriminate …that, or he's very quick on the uptake. I realize that sort of stuff is commonplace on Facebook, yet somehow, it feels wrong on google+.

A quick search lands me:

  • a blogger.com user profile, registered December 2007, linking to an empty blog ; 
  • a WordPress 'corporate' blog, barely unwrapped, yet with some content (most recent post dated Feb 18th), and linking to what looks like a one-man corp ; 
  • and a motherlode of a facebook

654 friends. Darn, that's some uncannily popular IT guy right there… clicky !

I'm a Success, capital S ! Oh wait.

Could you be so clueless as to try and egohype by photoshopping yourself into the cover of some obscure self-improvement magazine ? …for 
surely that would gain you loads of trust with potential customers and you'll never-ever get called out on it ?
Well, yes, of course, and sure, apparently —but it gets better.

…for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

A quick check on the website of success.com magazine (What Achievers Read) shows that Usher is who presumably ought to appear on this cover (Oct. 2010), instead of the nice whiteout where Wallace's dashing FB profile pic is inserted.
Weird thing though, is how clean-yet-unsophisticated the photoshopping looks, so I check the FB Cover Photo itself, and sure enough, the 'zine title is rendered in neat red-on-white, something that would take quite a bit of digging and fontwork to recreate at home.




Certainly, anyone driven enough to bother with a fake vanity cover wouldn't botch the final insert so badly ; and why would they settle for this rag when they could just as easily usurp Time magazine or Wired, instead ?

Then the dime drops.
Google images yields a link to the resource used by my new googlefriend to get famous,
… and one to an article on the aforementioned self-improvement 'zine's blog, which invites its readers to "Be on the cover of Success", for serious !

The ultimate hipster gift. 

Two words come to mind: neat, and sad.
Neat, because this is a cute trick to pull on a cover photo, and they've made it so easy it's nearly mom-friendly.
Sad, well, because it's a depressing case of truth in advertising: the only people who would ever want to be on a fake cover for a self-improvement magazine boorish enough to call itself "Success, What Achievers Read" (sic) and not clue in on how sorry it looks …are exactly the target audience for said publication.
It's like ordering one's own Best Book Award plaque from a vanity press — irony doesn't begin to cover it.


So kudos to success magazine, you're well on your way to become a cult mag, which I believe is exactly what you aspire to.

As for you, Bryant O.C. Wallace, I urge you to please reconsider your self-promotion strategy: you position yourself as a Strategic IT Service Provider for local businesses, and 
looking like a quack is the last thing an IT professional lacking a well-established brand can afford.
I fear your lazy, un-ironic attempt at faking recognition may prove detrimental to your business.
And no, I haven't circled you.

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