I've struggled with the concept of self-branding, so much so that I've opted to use a pen name for a few of my intended projects. Our current social order focuses intently on categorizing everything. While it serves a function on my favorite playground, the Internet, it also makes it difficult to express myself as a writer; I'm an eclectic melange of ideas, interests and projects. I also recognize that many web surfers have keyword searching down to a science. If I want to be discovered in web searches, I need to offer searchable content. In order to receive maximum benefit (site traffic) from this situation, I must make my content and projects part of a consistent theme and approach, a brand. I'm resistant to this. I have many things to say on many topics.
I found myself nodding and pounding my desktop while adding a few cries of "Hear, Hear!" as I read Maureen Johnson's post on BlogHer, regarding the heavy push for self-branding on the Internet. What do you think? Have we (writers--any type) over extended the concept of branding in an effort to keep our coffers full?