Think Globally, Act Locally: Branding Through Social Media

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Think globally and then act locally. Photo credit to Portland Seminary https://flic.kr/p/7HDsB5

In this week’s class, Dr. Silcock asked us to think about our usage of social media and the topic, “Global Me.” When thinking about the topic, I felt a kind of contradiction inside me. I admit that “global” is a good thing, but I still believe that whether people need to have a “global brand” depends on what kind of goals one wants to achieve. In this blog, I will show some arguments online about the connection between professional career and social media. Then, I will present my personal goals and the reasons why I think I do not need to establish a global brand for myself.

In a column published in the New York Times, Cal Newport, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, argues that social media might distract us from important works which we need to focus on. He also argues the “interesting opportunities” you can get from social media will come to you naturally if you are good enough. However, another columnist, Patrick Gillooly, who earns a living by social media, opposes Cal Newport’s ideas and states that it has become a trend that people are spreading news and views on social media. He explains that using social media can help us get access to news and build up a conversation with people or even possible employers and we do not need to feel obligated to engage in social media or share constantly.

For me, both of them talked about branding. That is, you can either do something worth mentioning and opportunities will find you themselves or your social media will increase more opportunities by utilizing these platforms. As a result, we should ponder what kind of brand we would like to establish and then decide whether to “go global” or not.

As a student who has a great interest in becoming a journalist, I have noticed some phenomena in Taiwanese media and the audience. Lots of people criticize that the traditional media or the TV channels often report trivial things and do not pay much attention to global affairs and in-depth reports. Also, the audience complains that some reports are biased by the perspective of the newspaper or TV channel. While I agree that there are still lots of good journalists or media workers in Taiwan, I can still see the problems previously mentioned. What’s worse, there is also a Wikipedia page about wrong things Taiwanese media have done in Chinese, including things like invasion of privacy, subjectivity, usage of sensational pictures, or lack of international news.

Since this blog aims at discussing the importance of developing a “global me” brand, I want to focus on the problem that most Taiwanese media seem to lack global awareness. In fact, one of the career goals I would like to achieve is to increase the proportion of international news in Taiwanese media if I become a journalist. Although establishing a global brand might help me get job opportunities from around the world, I do not think I need global opportunities. For me, it is good to establish my brand on social media, but it does not need to be “global” immediately. Instead, I want it to be local, to serve as a lens for Taiwanese people to start to notice and learn global issues, and perhaps, someday, there would be someone who can use the global knowledge to deal with local problems Taiwan is facing. I believe these are goals I can dedicate myself to and encompass the kind of brand I truly want to establish.