Write Your Name On It

I have a few friends that are in the process starting a blog. They have a unique concept. They gave it an interesting domain name. And they’ve two very smart guys working on it. Sound like the recipe for success right? Perhaps. In fact, I’ve seen blogs like this make it big before. Blogs like Above The Law where having anonymous writers allows them to have more useful stories. ¬†On the other hand, there’s also a lot of value to writing your name on the things.

The best way to think about it is in terms of school. When you put your name on your assignment, the pressure is on to create a better product. Because the professor will know that you turned it in, and he or she will judge your performance based on its quality. So you’re more likely to hand in a quality paper, show the professor you did the research and prove you thought about your response.

Unfortunately, today it’s easier than ever before to NOT put your name on things. We work in groups a large part of the time, so your name doesn’t always have to be attached. We work for companies whose names outshadow ours, so we don’t have to put our names on the line to do business. And on the Internet, people can say and do things without telling the world who they are, so they don’t have to be fully accountable.

The benefit of not putting your name on a blog is that if fail or people don’t like it, then no big deal, because nobody will know it was you. Likewise you can also get away with more controversial content, which can be useful for others to hear. So in some ways, this can be useful.

On the other hand, putting your name on something can be even more useful. It makes you accountable. Puts you on the hook. And gives you incentive to do better work. Because when people see your name they analyze your content and do Google searches on you. So you spend more time making it good and more efforts producing a quality products.

That’s precisely why putting your name on something works.

That’s also why I put my name on my own blog.

Sunday, January 8th, 2012 Careers

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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