Ah, the Scott Kurtz challenge.  The Strippers have an hour to write a tweet about five topics that are given to them:

  • You’ve got new merch for Comic-Con.
  • Some asshole is trolling you.
  • Someone is stalking you on twitters.
  • Someone sees you in the wild and makes fun of the way you look.
  • Someone doesn’t like how you portray a character on your strip.

Hmmm… how about the one where you start shit for no apparent reason?  Like this recent gem from the challenge judge:

It’s interesting to hear Kurtz admit that he usually responds poorly to attacks and that he kind of uses his knee jerk reaction as a measure for what not to do.

I like that Lexxy stood up for her personal style and argues the point with Kurtz.  She doesn’t have to deal with tweets like this because she’s been successful in cultivating an online persona that doesn’t attract this kind of trolling.  Telling her she’s doing it wrong is clearly false.  But I guess that’s not the point of the game.

How the hell do you judge this one?  Maybe part of your personal brand is engaging trolls.  Maybe it’s ignoring them.  Maybe it’s starting giant flame wars.

Personal branding is about honesty.  Being yourself is the best way to cultivate a personal brand.  Because tweets are usually raw ideas fired out in 140 characters or less, Twitter turns out to be a decent reflection of a personal brand.  But focusing on tweeting kind of misses the point.  YOU are the brand.  How you choose to respond to a troll is part of your personal brand.

How do you want to be perceived? What are the steps you can take to ensure that when people read your tweets, blog posts, facebook updates, smoke signals that they’re getting you that you want to represent?  How do you make that version of you a reality?

Like so many others thus far in this show, I feel like this episode was a missed opportunity.  It’s entirely possible that this sort of personal branding discussion happened off camera between edits.  But we hear none of that.  The focus is on the game which I suppose is the way it’s supposed to be.  But there’s a lot about personal branding that we all could learn and it would have been interesting to hear Kurtz engage the Strippers in some of that discussion.

Lexxy and Tavis are headed to the arena of doom so we’ll see how they match up next time.


  • Patrick Rennie

    I can’t think of a single person in the entire comics industry that would be a worse judge of personal brand management issues than Scott. Sure, he’s seen many, many examples of how you screw that up, but it doesn’t stop him from setting new lows. I’m a big fan of his work and he can also be a really nice guy, but good lord is he high maintenance. Kick him again, Lexxy!

    On the other hand, Tavis passes audience engagement 101. Brushing off the negative voices is the first thing you are supposed to learn when you start interacting with an audience. It wasn’t a real stab at winning the competition unless nobody else took the same position.

    So, yeah. I have no idea how either of them ended up getting sent to the elimination round.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    I found it ridiculous that people were chastised for simply NOT RESPONDING, or blocking the extreme assholes. Come on, it’s the Internet. The winning responses were pretty good in general (although I didn’t care that much for Katie’s hangover thing – it seemed like it could come across as hostile and defensive) but they’re certainly not the only way to do it.

    Also, did anyone else notice the editing mistake, where they mentioned the hangover response while still discussing Abbey’s response? I was a bit confused by that until Katie’s came up.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    And yet, and yet, AND YET, here’s the newspost that Gabe just posted about this challenge: http://penny-arcade.com/2013/03/29/strip-search8

    “Recently you might have seen the “DO NOT ENGAGE” plaque I’ve been using on Twitter occasionally. I have learned that there are really three major types of trolls that I tend to get on Twitter. There are people just being jerks in the hopes of getting a response. There are people who honestly do not seem to understand that if you put my twitter handle in a tweet I will see it. Finally there are just plain crazy people. Now the first two I feel pretty safe engaging with. Sometimes I can have fun with a jerk and at least get a funny tweet out of it. With the second kind of troll they often times seem surprised when I respond and quickly apologize. Sometimes I think it’s easy to forget that there are real people at the other ends of these twitter handles. It’s the last group that I use my “DO NOT ENGAGE” plaque for. I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting the difference but sometimes I’ll engage with what I think is a run of the mill troll only to find out a few tweets later that they are in fact nutballs crazy. These people I tend to just block or mute forever.”

    So I mean, yeah.