Today’s post was inspired by the Prosperous Writer herself, Christina Katz. In this week’s ezine, Christina talks about authenticity as it applies to your online persona. Reading her article this week got me thinking about how I come across online – do I present myself in a way that is authentic?

How the heck do I come across to those in the interwebz?

In her article, Christina asks a simple question – HOW DO YOU DO YOUR THING?

I thought of the authors I really admire and their online personas –

Then I thought about myself. I think I have a sense of myself online – think I know how others perceive me. But, how do we REALLY know, right?

So, I applied my business head to the situation, pulled a “focus” group together and asked.

The people I “polled” know me online – Maybe they follow my blog or follow me on twitter; In some cases I have done some beta reading; In all cases (except one), they do now KNOW me – I haven’t met them in person, I don’t talk endless with them, we aren’t internet BFFs….

I asked them a simple question – how do I come across online?

Now sure, I knew they probably wouldn’t bash me…butI did want them to be honest. And I think they were.

For the most part, they responded in a way that was inline with how I thought I “did my thing” – the core message was the same.


They also tapped on a few things I did not necessarily want, but aspects of myself I KNOW are true. Thing I need to work on.

It was a great experiment and helped to focus my efforts with authenticity. Just as authenticity is vital to my voice as a writer and within my characters, I think authenticity is KEY with building an author’s online platform.

In the words of Christina Katz 

“Your authenticity is the truth about the best of what you do. So no need to ever fake it. Just be yourself. And then be a little more yourself. And then share a little bit of that with everyone else. And I promise, we’ll remember.”

How do you do YOUR thing? Do you know?


18 thoughts on “How Authenic Are You?

  1. Hmm, I’m not sure. I think I could be more restrained, more reserved, more professional, but I can’t hide that I have a lot of fun blogging and my sense of humor is just…there.

    So it’s funny. I’m at odds with my online presence, but in the end, I think the authenticity is something hard to cover up.

    Great post!

  2. Sometimes, I think I expose too much of myself, so much so that it makes me feel vulnerable. It’s funny because I drafted a blog post about this and then decided not to post it–because it was just too revealing. But I love that you approach this issue not as a matter of branding, but as authenticity–because, frankly, branding makes me nervous. It just feels like this artificial thing, this mask we wear. But authenticity–that’s what it’s all about. The question is, how to be authentic and true to yourself without revealing all of yourself? It’s something I’m working on, I guess. I like to think that most people could take a guess at how I’d approach any given topic, even if it’s only that I might do so in a humorous, unpredictable way, but that I always do so with a bit of heart. Well, I’d LIKE to think that. I don’t know if that’s how other’s perceive me.

  3. Great question! I feel like I’m still trying to figure out my on-line self. But I agree that if we aren’t authentic . . . aren’t who we really are, it’ll show. It’s good to be aware that we do leave an impression. Hopefully it’s the one we want . . . and that takes work!

  4. I have been floundering with this question lately! So thanks for the post. I’m pretty sure I don’t share enough and that is probably about confidence as much as anything. I love your idea of conducting a poll. And double-ly love the authenticity piece.

  5. I think it depends a lot on where I am online. In my LJ and FB I’ve only got actual friends so I think I act a bit like a spaz, and complain a little bit too much (but they don’t mind, cause they love me). On SNS I started out trying to be very professional, but it ended up coming across as boring and cold (I’ve read back through, it doesn’t even keep MY attention). When I first hopped on twitter I tried to use it only as a writing thing – I only talked about writing, period. I’ve been trying to be a little more personable without being insane lately (I failed horribly with today’s blog post – it’s a bit insane, although it does have to do with writing). I’m still working on finding that balance between total spaz and total snore 😛

  6. I think online and offline I am basically the same person, sometimes to a fault. This would include weirdly phrased sentences and sometimes getting a bit too intense–though hopefully I’ve mellowed with age…and medication…(see, that right there might be an example of TMI) 😉

    I tend to just write what is on my mind. I suppose if I were given a specific subject on which to write (okay, see, I don’t talk like that. In speaking I would have said “…specific subject to write about) I would make an attempt to be a bit more formal–though like the difference between being at home and being in the workplace, I think depending on where we work, we tend to be a bit more formal at work…just a bit…I don’t think this means we not being authentic. We’re just trying to behave appropriately when the situation warrants it. –and yes, I might very well have said “when the situation warrants it” if I was speaking. I’m just weird that way… 😉

  7. I think I’m remaining true to myself online as well as off. In real life, I’m quiet and reserved, but once I get to know you have a lot to say. Yes, I’m an introvert. I stay away from the drama and don’t get involved in office politics. The same goes for online. My blog follows me and my interests and what is happening in life. As life changes and I develop different interests, it is reflected in my blog. My online persona is me. What you see is what you get.

  8. I am who I am…online, people get to see more of my core personality (though I’m still pretty reserved – that’s just who I am) than they initially would offline. I’m an introvert through and through, and I do worry that my somewhat more outgoing “online” persona will seem disingenuous if ever I meet online friends offline. I am far less apt to say what I’m thinking or engage in group conversations/activities offline – I’m just not that comfortable with people in person.

    It’s what I love and hate about the internet – online, it’s all about who I am in my head, my mind…the core of me. Offline, I have issues with personal space and group dynamics that hinder my ability to “be me”, if that makes any sense.

  9. I think of Whitman (I believe it was): “Do I contradict myself? Very well, contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes.”

    And C.S. Lewis: “God makes each soul unique. If he had no use for all these differences I see no reason why He would have made more than one. Be sure the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him, and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you.”

    I feel like I’ve fallen into a second adolescence, where I’m trying again to even *define* who I am. I feel like I’m looking for that *magic something* that will focus my understanding of my uniqueness and create a framework for my (off and) on-line activities.

    And my grown-up self scolds that part of me for waiting for something external to provide structure when I’ve never lived with structure in my life.

    I keep saying (in person, and sometimes on my blogs), *If I’m to be hung, let it be for something real.*

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