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As well as trundling off to [Twestival](http://www.onemanandhisblog.com/archives/2009/09/london_twestival_2009.html) last Thursday, I also stuck my head around the door of the [BrandNew](http://brandnewlondon.wordpress.com/) launch event, and jolly interesting it was, too. It’s yet another brainchild from the worryingly fecund imagination of [Joanna Geary](http://www.joannageary.com/) of *The Times*(pictured above, looking uncomfortable – this is my revenge for her springing a brief speech on me). Jo, like many of us who have gone from being social media enthusiasts to prominent roles within our employers where our online identity reflects on the emplyer’s brand, has found herself questioning the need to split personal and business identities, how free she is to blog while being seen as a member of *The Times* staff, and so on. I’ve been through similar battles in the past. I nearly killed my blog stone dead in late 2005/early 2006 when my colleagues began to become aware of it and I set too many limits on what I posted.

brandnewpeps.jpgIt appears plenty of people are interested, as about two dozen people turned up, from organisations as diverse as the Labour Party, and contract publishers. And all are struggling with this clash of the need of social media identities to personal, open and somewhat intimate, as opposed to the managed, staged and often impersonal brand identities of the past. If I had any doubt that companies were about to go through a profound cultural shift as they adapt to this new communications infrastructure, the quality of the questions being asked put that to rest.

And beyond that, it was nice to catch up with online acquaintances and to meet some new faces (to me, at least). I look forward with some eagerness to the next event. So, when is it, Ms Geary? 🙂