The confusion and uncertainty confirm: It’s all about identity

MONDAY, 4 MAY 2009

It seems my attempts to make money on the Internet have been held back by a question I had considered answered: Who am I?

I underestimated the degree to which the Internet represented a new environment. I didn’t know that I would again be compelled to ask and answer certain questions like any other case of a geographical transfer of your person would necessitate: Who am I in this place? Who am I for the people I am going to encounter, in the conversations I am going to get involved in, and in the projects that I am going to work on?


After weeks of thinking about things like my own brand name, and the increasing use of the moniker “Platform35” as a personal handle on digital markets and as participant in forums, and the identification of three domains as my primary focus, and lessons learned about using pictures of myself on websites and the benefits of using my own name, I finally see the forest for the trees.

“It’s been about identity all this time?” I cry out, and I wonder why I – I! – hadn’t realised this a long time ago.

I was seduced for too long by the idea of doing business on a website rather than face to face, and by stories of being anonymous and making money while you stay behind your computer screen – which is possible, but a part of me wants to appear. Of course I, “Brand Smit of Personal Agenda” did not want to appear as a marketer (“How vulgar!”), but I certainly wanted to make money from home.

It was in a fix. I did write one or two articles and published them under my own name on EzineArticles, but I disappeared behind a pseudonym again pretty soon after.

My advice (to myself): Define yourself in the area where you reside, work, do business, study and live. Define yourself and introduce yourself as the person you say you are. That is if you want to appear at all, and if you want to harvest and enjoy the fruits that appearance brings.

And to think I already knew this in 2004.


I thought I had resolved the question of who and what I am by 2004, but the moment I entered a new environment (Internet Marketing in 2006), the confusion and uncertainty returned, with a thousand fresh troops armed to the teeth.