Monday, March 07, 2011

The Risk of Rebranding



Since the hugely popular South By Southwest conference starts later this week, this is probably a good topic to talk about. By the way, I'm not going to "SouthBy," although I really wanted to. But, the last few days have been very exciting, yet anxiety provoking for me.

I was in New York City last week working on a social media project with Dr Joseph Kim from Medical Communications Media, Dr. Enoch Choi, the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians and Einstein College of Medicine. I'll talk about it more in the future, but the project is about Medication Adherence and the use of technology like mobile and social media.

Following about 24 hours in New York, I flew to Baltimore to check out the EMS Today conference where I got to meet many of the social media superstars of the EMS community - and there are a lot of them. I even got to sit in as a guest during their final podcast of the conference. Oh, and did I mention that they VIDEO live streamed about 12 hours of podcasts over the course of 3 days. It was really good stuff.

Anyway during my 24 hours in NYC and my 24 hours in Baltimore, I've come to realize that I have probably hit the glass ceiling of success with the "Doctor Anonymous" internet identity. I have been told this in the past, but I really didn't believe it. I have gotten a lot of social media opportunities over the past few months. But in recent discussions with many people whom I've come to trust, to reach for an even higher potential, I have to let go of the whole Dr. A thing.

I have been very hesitant to do that for a number of reasons. I think that I've done a lot of work in the past (almost) five years in social media. Would that mean throwing all that away and starting over? That is something that I have been asking myself for a long time. The status quo has been screaming out in my mind for months. "Why risk this?" I kept asking myself.

So, I guess I'm announcing that I'm exploring my options to change the direction of my blog and to change the direction of my internet life. As I said on facebook yesterday, "After the last few inspirational days, thinking about building an entirely new social media plan from scratch. Will probably fail, but it's the challenge of innovating that drives me." Stay tuned to what happens, as this long time blog may not be here for much longer...

11 comments:

Vijay said...

Good luck in your new online ventures.

Steve Woodruff said...

We often do outgrow our initial "identities" in SocMed, Dr. A. And that's all right - it's a natural and expected evolution. When you no longer feel that the old identity is a true fit, then it's time to re-align and re-launch.

rlbates said...

Will be here. Looking forward to your updates. As Vijay said, "good luck."

Health Train Express said...

Let's talk by email or skype. Same itchings here, although you are much more visible in the space.
Skype gary.levin Or leave a comment on my blog. Good luck either way.

Kim said...

I sense good things! : )

Dr. Gwenn said...

Even as "Dr. Gwenn" my identity has grown, shifted, molted and changed more times than I can count since I started my social media adventure just around when you did. Time to grow wings, my friend.

Jabulani said...

Ditto what Vijay and Ramona said. Sitting tight this side of The Pond :)

e-Patient Dave said...

Great timing: this is the first time it's been mentioned publicly, but the Society for Participatory Medicine is going through something similar with its blog, e-patients.net.

It turns out very few people know that e-patients.net is the society's blog, which means the blog's success and reputation aren't appropriately helping awareness of the Society and its journal. So, this spring we'll be changing the blog's visual identity to be a clear close relative of our journal, www.JoPM.org, and changing its URL to be something like blog.jopm.org.

Like you, we have trepidation about losing our name-buzz and our Google Juice. So we'll be managing that with announcements.

Suggestion for you: write a post titled "Dr. Mike Sevilla - Anonymous No More." It'll travel like wildfire.

Signed,
Your unsolicited marketing exec,
Eepy D
(my hip-hop name)

Mark said...

I think that the name change is a good move and I love how Twitter makes rebranding easy without losing your current follower base.

The Dr. A handle may have been useful in the early days, but we have moved more to full disclosure.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I have reached my peak in the present paradigm as well. Still, I am not giving up. There are more lands to be conquered. I don't think anyone would achieve success and continue on to be Emperor of the blogosphere or President of Med-Blogging. Change is necessary in this world of "entertain me now" and, "what have you done for me recently" society. If you are putting out quality content, people will follow. Lead on dear Sir, lead on...

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

BTW, How the heck do we have time to do this blogging podcasting crap anyways? I have patients to see....