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C.T.OVERDRIVE: SXSW 2009 Connor Turner Overdrive | c.t.overdrive

SXSW 2009

SXSW09: Building The c.t.overdrive Brand Thursday March 26, 2009

Alright, so here is the long over due and last of the SXSW09 posts. Hurrrah!

While, I’ve posted a lot of SXSW nonsense on the ol’ overdrive and most of the dirty details from each day at the Corporation’s Blog, I’m going to talk about one of the most prevalent themes coming out of Austin this year – the evolution of Personal Branding.

Personal Branding

If you are a writer, a poet, a photographer, a student, a creative, a musician, a developer, an engineer, a graphic designer, a consultant, a marketer or anyone who is trying to make a living trying by sell themselves – it’s time to listen up.

Because whether you like it or not your personal brand is already being built online. Whether it’s the blog you started five years ago or your handle on a forum or your Facebook account – all of your online activity is slowly building a personal brand.

The theme from Austin was that as professionals, you need to start leveraging all the information being collected into something beneficial to you. You need to take control. You need to take these social media tools (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, et al) and focus them into a network of sites you can potentially utilize to promote yourself.

Your Blog is Dead! (Well Sorta)

One of the key sessions I went to at SXSW was the core conversation – Is The Personal Blog Dead?

Throughout the conversation, it became apparent that the old idea of the personal blog – the place where you write about your daily life – appears to have died a slow death. What is really happening now is that your blog is now a place to express long thought out and rational thoughts in between smaller informative posts to Twitter, Tumblr or Flickr. Your blog is a place where you need to really refine your knowledge and express your opinions in a concise manner, which you should complemented with the short snippets of information published on other social media sites.

Your personal blog has now evolved into a focal point to channel your online connections (via other Social Media sites) to showcase your personality and better yet your services. It has become an aggregate for your larger thoughts and opinions – the center for your personal brand.

The c.t.overdrive Brand

All of this got me thinking about the c.t.overdrive brand. Which has evolved into my brand and now seems to be how the online world views Mr. Connor Turner.

Over the past year, I’ve apparently made a subconscious effort to solidify the c.t.overdrive brand. My twitter account mimics the c.t.overdrive home page. My avatars on Facebook, Britekit and comment Gravatars all link up to The Story’s picture profile. Every account I create has some derivative of c.t.overdrive in it.

And again, I want to emphasize that this has been completely subconscious. But through all of this it appears that the c.t.overdrive brand is developing online.

Now, don’t ask me what it’s developing into? For all I know it’s probably developing into a personal brand of mish-mash of bad grammar, obscure zombie t-shirts, odd comments about old Calgary news reporters, bold fonts, sketch drawings, far too much twitter talk and the occasional rant about music. But either way it appears to be my brand.

Why is Your Personal Brand Important?

The reasons for having a concise personal brand are simple. You want to be able to have some control in the way people view your talents.

I’ll give you a quick personal example.

Over the past month I have been linked and featured in a variety of different ways. One of my tweets was published on a PBS article about SXSW. Johnny Tran quoted the c.t.overdrive in an interview with Blu’s Daily blog (BTW Johnny, thank you! I’m so honored for the link). And last but not least a quote of mine was featured in a recent Metro article on Twittering.

I have really appreciated each of these links, but it does demonstrate that in the online world will live in, we have less control over where our thoughts and ideas are spreading.

Which is why you need to have some control over how the world views your personal brand. Potential clients and potential collaborators are going to be finding your ideas online and with out a clear and concise brand, you might miss out on some golden opportunities.

Anyways, I’ve probably talked about this idea enough for one post. So I’m going to continue on this stream about personal branding in another post. But this time I’ll include some great local professionals that are really taking control of their personal brand.

Categories: SXSW-2009, The-Personnal, The Blogosphere, The Calgary Vibe, The Inane, The Personnal, The Pop-Culture, The Twitter-verse, The World, Want To Be A Web Designer

SXSW09: Stuff White People Like Monday March 23, 2009

It’s pretty obvious that Caitlin and I are huge fans of the Supreme Overlord Blogging Queen Dooce, so when she’s on a panel at SXSW I tend to gravitate towards it.

So it’s no surprise that I took in the UR Blog Sux and Print is Dead. Which was a panel discussion on Professional Blogging and how the interaction with audience can evolve beyond your expectations. (i.e. Death Threats, lots and lots of Death Threats against you) The panel was great and entertaining and everything else you’d expect from the great collection of Bloggers assembled.

But the surprise of the panel had to be Christan Lander. His hilarious take on his sudden rise to fame and all the prat falls that encompases such a transition, was hysterical and a breath of fresh air.

… and now you’re probably all like who the f#$% is Christan Lander?

Christan Lander is the Ph.D Student behind the enormously funny web site Stuff White People Like?. Is it politically correct? No. Is it hilarious? Yes! Does it make all white uncomfortably squeamish in the realization that we’re actually not that unique? Yes. Does it induce Death Threats? You bet your arse it sure does.

For those who haven’t caught on to SWPL, you should really take a gander over there and check out some of the work. It’s hilarious and a great read. Better yet if you get a chance pick up the anthology book and leave it on your coffee table.

Whenever there is a pause in your evenings festivities whip it out and read a passage. Then watch the awkward laughs and silence as everyone realizes we’re really not that cool…

From #123 Mad Men

During the actual event you should constantly mention how much people used to smoke and drink back then. A few white people will lament the days when they could smoke anywhere, then another white person will say something about cancer and it will get awkward. At this point you should try to steer the conversation back to cocktails and how good everyone looks.

Categories: SXSW-2009, The-Blogosphere, The Humourous, The Inane, The Pop-Culture, The World

SXSW09: The Loudcrowd Saturday March 21, 2009

The first time I went to Texas, I was all over every app I saw. Didn’t matter what it was I wanted to know about it and sign up for it … Subsequently I spent the rest of the year unsubscribing for a variety of Social Media apps before the hit the Deadpool.

Now that I just completed my third tour of duty, I’ve learned that only a handful of the apps pimped at SXSW ever survive the first year of existance. Most flounder and fade into obscurity.

If you ever head down there, you’ll notice that there are lots of people with great products and no idea how to turn a profit. But better yet are the people struggling to find a way to turn the music industry around. You’ll see about a dozen or so skimpy ideas being tossed around. Most are complete rubbish … all except for

The Loud Crowd

The LoudCrowd is series of online games developed by members of the RockBand & GuitarHero development team, which exposes you to crazy amount of new music and rewards you with free tracks as you progress.

You join up, create an avatar, then start playing games while digesting some great new tunes you probably wouldn’t have heard any where else. As you progress your are rewarded with more tracks and different levels. Once you reach a certain milestone you are able to download a free track. (I’ve embedded a clip of the game below)

The Loudcrowd is a great idea and fantastically stylish design. It’s amazingly time consuming and a blast to play. The games are innovative and the music is top notch.

They are just about to head out of Beta, which really means nothing in the online world, but check it out and you can thank me later.

Free Music + Awesome Games + Plus the same great comic stylingz of Guitar Hero = One amazingly addictive web site.

Categories: SXSW-2009, The-Music, The Twitter-verse, The VideoGames

SXSW09: Marcus Brown Friday March 20, 2009

So I know you’re all excited that I’m going to talk about twitter again, because after spending 5 days surrounded by tweets, twits, twollows and twunics – I’m even tired of hearing about it.

But even as the twitter evangelist that I’ve become I thought this idea was pretty genius. It’s a series of vimeo videos by Marcus Brown where he derives the most ridiculous insights from the mundane tweets of famous web celebrities while on the john … in a pompous British accent. Sorta like Master Piece theater on the John.

This episode is about Guy Kawaski – a predominate Web/Apple/VC Guru in Silicon Valley.

Official Tweet Reading III: Reading Guy Kawasaki from Marcus Brown on Vimeo.

The concept is a great slag at the whole twitter phenomena. It showcases that even though Twitter can be a powerful self-promotion/informational tool, even the most brilliant of us are guilty of posting our most mundane events.

Categories: SXSW-2009, The-Twitter-verse, The Blogosphere, The Humourous, The Inane, The Pop-Culture

SXSW09: The Live Music Capital Of The World Thursday March 19, 2009

Being on the whirlwind tour that is SXSW Interactive festival; it can be incredibly hard to remember that you are not just in Austin, but you are located in the Live Music capital of the World.

So as a rule when you run into two great bands at two completely random locations on the same, you shouldn’t really be that shocked.


Voxtrot played the Media Temple Closing party, which by tradition has been the most lackluster party of SXSW. Purely because 1/3 of the attendees have already fled home and then the other 2/3 are zombified from the previous 4 days of chaos.

But VoxTrot put on a great show for the remaining soldiers who could still stand. The White Gloves out of Montreal also played, but I missed them to complete my packing.

Voxtrot @ Studio A, Miami from jenny alison on Vimeo.


DataRock was a complete fluke of a show, see they were suppose to headline the Media Temple Closing party. But for some reason they bailed at the last minute. So when Andy, John and myself walked into a faux Irish pub, we were surprised to see that they were headlining the show.

I had never seen Datarock before, but I’ve heard that their brand of poppy nerdrawk was a must see… and I can officially confirm that rum our now.

Datarock – Fa Fa Fa from nettwerkmusic on Vimeo.

Now this was definitely no Tokyo Police Club party, but it was still a great evening of music.

Categories: SXSW-2009, The-Music, The Adventures, The Inane, The Southern Neighbours