Obviously the name is a play off "Web 2.0", and there's a reason for that. While most if us are tired of anything "2.0"—the movement behind it is very real. I should know. I've built what's being called a "personal brand" bit by byte over the past 2 plus years. I started with absolutely nothing except a desire to learn and to be heard. The other essential part of the equation is where the Web is moving. Blogging has become a form of "personal publishing" and it along with many other forms of accessible digital media has empowered literally millions of us to have a voice.
When I had an article published in BusinessWeek, I had to take a step back and think about how and why it was possible. This is how I felt at the time:
"These are the new rules of the conversation age, or economy or whatever you want to call it. This is why, if you have adverse reactions when you hear strange words like "blogging" or "twittering"—then you are a fool. I'm sorry but it's true. I'm not saying that we should all jump on the bandwagon of the latest buzzword or technology that gets thrown out there. I'm actually saying the opposite. We need to investigate the latest tools to the best of our abilities and decide how they impact our own worlds. The blogging movement was never about blogging in the first place—it's about a new way to share, connect, collaborate, discuss, debate, and ideate.
It's always been about us. About people. Eliminate the word "blog" from your vocabulary and you are still left with the power of personal publishing and content distribution. These ideals will never go away—they are hear to stay. This is not a fad."
And similar to how I felt back then about the changes in not only technology—but human behavior, I have to wonder if this movement of people as brands is something that is here to stay as well. I see it in young people—my niece and nephews. Hours spent on profiles, tweaking facebook pages, carefully selecting images—crafting how they want to appear to the outside world and expressing their own personal creativity. "Brand U.0", while it takes it's cue from the changes happening in technology is very much about humanity.