Tanya Ferrell — YOU GET IT!!!

October 30th, 2007

Personal Branding award - You Get It Tanya FerrellI recently got an e-mail from Tanya Ferrell, sharing a Branding Periodic Table (if you are a branding geek you’ll really like it!). As usual, I Googled Tanya’s name and was more than pleasantly surprised at what I found. Here was someone that practically owned the first page of Google for her name. Here’s what I like:

  • Her Google results are pretty darn good – if I’m a hiring manager or recruiter I don’t have to go far. I can learn that she’s “a senior at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh majoring in Advertising” (as of Sept 2007).
  • There’s a Tanya Ferrell mentioned in a Milwaukee newspaper article from 2002… I’m not sure if this is her but it does reinforce her position as someone who is quite tech/internet savvy, and if it is her, I’m going to be impressed that she was mentioned in the article as an organizer of a leading edge website for the community. (a) – she’s been in this tech space for a while, and (b) I wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper when I was 15! If nothing else it gives me something to talk with her about… a starting point for our relationship (or something interesting to talk about in our interview).
  • She also has a profile on Digg and Mashable, which help her claim two spots on her first page of Google results. Shows she is active in the social space and contributes as a voter, etc. to these types of forums. I wouldn’t expect any less from someone from GenY but it’s nice to see it here.
  • Her blog. Of course.

Notice that only ONE person has won this award without having a blog? For me it’s huge, and Tanya’s blog is excellent. Here’s why:

  • She owns her nameTanyaFerrell.com. When you go there it goes straight to her blog, which means easy maintenance. Do you own your name? It’s easy and inexpensive!
  • Her title totally makes sense for her brand – “Common Sense: Internet Marketing Made Simple” considering she is at an art school, and she’s doing an internship in internet marketing, I think this is an excellent title/theme for her blog. She’s obviously passionate about the subject, can back it up with what she learns at work, and has a creative brain… three major positives, as far as I’m concerned.
  • Her “About” section is concise and complete, and has her e-mail address right there. Easy to figure out who she is and how to get in touch with her, without having to go to another page to read a novel about how great she is.
  • The topics she writes about solidifies what her passion and specialty are. She gives me a genY perspective on interstitial ads (I NEVER would have expected to read this from anyone, much less someone from GenY – I wonder if it’s just because she is in advertising?). She talks about the frustration of all the social sites, and how to manage all the login/account information (I am social networked out, it’s good to hear her perspective on this simple issue). Her post on Applicable Web Analytics shows me that she thinks outside the normal boundaries, I love the end where she says she’s going back to her professor to bring them relevant, current information for the course (as opposed to just accepting what they say as truth)!
  • There’s a lot more … similar to previous winners. I think her template is fine, she makes excellent use of images (graphs!) and video, her tone is very authentic and real – it’s simple yet authoritative and knowledgeable and comfortable.

I feel sorry for people that she is going to interview against, especially if the hiring managers do a Google search. Tanya has a big online footprint in a lot of places, her blog is relevant to her profession, and she is building a long history. This is a terrific complement to her statement “I love marketing in all its forms. I love it so much, I’m currently working at my 4th internship.” Hello… her fourth internship. She’s going to land an excellent gig after she graduates!

So, something new, here are my critiques:

  • I really like the custom picture instead of the standard heading, but I would make it smaller – I think it takes up too much vertical space. Choose something that moves the other content in the first column up higher, above “the fold.”
  • I would like to see a “recent comments” section in the first column… it shows me which posts are creating buzz, and I’m guessing it will help generate more comments/discussion.
  • I’m not really big on tag clouds, so if you want it, move it down. Just my opinion :)
  • The Me on the Internet section is actually pretty interesting. I definitely wouldn’t suggest it for everyone (for example, YGI winners Mike Schaffner and Kent Blumberg) … only for those that have an active presence out there. My only beef with this section is that it is BIG – it takes up a lot of space!
  • I previously said the template is “fine.” I think that Tanya should spend some time looking for a different template (understanding that this isn’t her first template – as a blogger we all go through this :)). I do like the font, and colors of the links for each blog post, and the date format… stuff like that…
  • Here’s my biggest critique, non-blog related. This is a really controversial topic, so take it for what it’s worth. I do not like the image that she chose for her Digg and Mashable profiles. This is absolutely not a moral preaching, or anything like that. I’ve seen this fester up on various blogs, and my position is to have a cleaner image. Since this is something that she might change, I’m not even going to go there, you can click on her Digg and Mashable images to see what it is now (perhaps it will change), or you can read my abbreviated position on this Penelope Trunk post (in the comments), written by guest blogger (and now business partner) Jason Warner, aka the Google Guy.

Tanya Ferrell - You Get It winner for October 2007Congratulations Tanya! – You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! Feel free to post the You Get It award on your blog!

Here are the past winners:

11 Comments »

11 responses to “Tanya Ferrell — YOU GET IT!!!”

  1. Very nice! It’s nice to see the up and coming marketing stars!

  2. Tanya says:

    Hey, thanks so much for the write up and all the tips! I’ll definitely be taking them into consideration. It’s cool getting advice from an expert. You said that you’re not big on tag clouds. Is there a specific reason? or is it personal preference? Just curious.

  3. Jason Alba says:

    Tanya – sure thing :) You really have a great footprint online, which I think will serve you well as you transition from one job to another. You come across as knowledgeable and nice/fun… a good combination!

    I don’t like tag clouds on blogs because they don’t seem to add any/much value to me. They seem to be cluttered (I never read most of the words, just the two or three big ones), and I haven’t found value in clicking on words in a tag cloud.

    So all of this is kind of ironic in light of the fact that we just introduced tag clouds into JibberJobber (in the Job Journal area) :/ Why? Because functionally they are good. But on a blog they kind of conflict with the Categories.

    I think it really comes down to real estate… you only get so much space, and too many people put things that don’t add value and distract the reader. If you want to provide good navigation to your reader I suggest you have a good (well thought-out) category list, and a search function. Tag clouds seem to be redundant.

    Just my opinion :) :)

    BTW, I’m not sure that “expert” fits me … I think I’m just opinionated.

  4. Brian says:

    Jason,

    Great find. I love the table of periodic elements and am having great fun on Tanya’s site. Thanks for the introduction.

    Brian

  5. Jason Alba says:

    I am going through old e-mail and found this link from Pete Johnson, which links to a blog post that may have tainted my opinion on tag clouds (and calendars!): http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000834.html

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