I Lost You!
First rule of writing, blogging, social media chatting...DON'T CHANGE YOUR AVATAR ONCE YOU'VE ESTABLISHED AN AUDIENCE! It makes me a little crazy, and since I'm a functioning member of society with only a few neurotic peccadillos, I don't think it's just me. One of my favorite tweeters and Google+'ers has recently changed his avatar...an avatar that was very eye-catching, and now I can't find him with a quick review of my Twitter Stream. It only took me about a week to stop looking for him, and since my email is already the equivalent of the Autobahn, I'm not going back to his website, and signing up for email notifications of his posts! (No, I don't use lists...I use the Twitter Lottery - whoever is posting when I check Twitter won the 'MKJ saw your post' Lottery!)
I've Lost Him.
More importantly, He Lost Me! Just think of your favorite soda (okay, I'm showing my California accent...pop, if you will). What would you do if you were looking for a Pepsi, and couldn't find that familiar blue can anywhere, and your 2 yo was screaming in your ear, while pulling a clump of hair out right above that ringing ear? You'd just choose something else, or leave screaming yourself, right?!
One of my favorite Dad Bloggers recently asked his audience if they thought he should change his avatar since his daughter is now three (probably going on thirteen, because she told him to shave his beard), and the baby feet in his picture aren't current. I said very clearly, and as loudly as my ALL CAPS could get...NOOOOOOO!
Thank Goodness Michael Schmid of A Daddy Blog heard the outcry, and kept his baby and daddy feet avatar. He added some new pic's of his little girl (darling btw) to his homepage logo, google+ bar, and the like, but when I look for his Tweets, I find him, and feel safe and secure that the world is still orbiting the sun, and the dinosaurs are still extinct.
When you are first starting out, change away. Before you become more successful in your online presence, however, find the avatar that works for you, and stick with it until it no longer represents your brand at all - in other words...until your current brand dies, and a new brand rises from the ashes like a phoenix.
(Ladies who dye their hair, listen up...this also goes for suddenly going brunette when your avatar picture has always been blond!)
Anyone else feel strongly about their favorite people changing their brand image? Please share!