Brand Building on the Internet in 2014 Is an Interesting Phenomenon

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If you're a celebrity, you establish your brand in any number of ways. Perhaps you have a YouTube channel with made-from-scratch videos or snippets of your television appearances. Maybe you have merchandise that you sell, or blog posts that you write. And ultimately, the engine in 2014 is social media, the mechanism through which much of the material is conveyed.

Indeed, there are any number of ways to portray your persona and establish "the brand."

However, there is one immutable fact -- if any of your brand-building efforts involve tweeting out a picture of yourself in a social situation with Justin Bieber, the Internet will devour you and toss you and your brand into douche prison.

Go to jail, go directly to jail. You suck.

Who's the latest to find this out?

That would be former Duke point guard and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams.

I don't follow Williams on Twitter, largely because when I watch him on television, I don't ever find myself a) marveling at what I am learning or b) laughing hysterically. One of those two things is typically the buy-in for me to follow a fellow media member, especially one who is force-fed to me by ESPN.

With Williams, I've never found him to be particularly needle-moving. I don't like him, I don't hate him. He's just sort of there. So imagine my shock when I saw that he has more than 1.5 million Twitter followers.

Apparently, there are 1.5 million people who find inspiration in tweets like this...

...or this...

So we know what Jay Williams's brand is -- he is the thinking man's analyst, one who draws inspiration from words and shares those uplifting thoughts with others. Truthfully, Twitter is littered with celebrities who have this as their gimmick; it doesn't really make Williams unique, but whatever. Who am I to argue with 1.5 million stark raving J-Will-o-maniacs?

So what's one way to undo all these positive vibes? Well, this is a start...

Seriously, Jay?

Yeah, I'm sure there are many lost souls wandering the world aimlessly, but if they would just spend a couple of hours with Justin Bieber (that is, when he's not drag-racing through his neighborhood) they would come away with phenomenal perspective.

Jay Williams finds Bieber "truly inspiring." In other news, Williams finds Jersey Shore to be a fine work of art and Taco Bell to be succulent international cuisine. I mean, I know when I look at the spoiled, tatted-up white kid flashing hand signs, I feel so alive!

To be honest, Jay, I'm more inspired by someone having the wherewithal to spend two full hours with Bieber and not punch him in the face. YOU, my friend, are someone for the kids to look up to!

This inspirational Bieber you speak of, I am unfamiliar with him. The only Bieber I know is this one...

Jay, all of that work to overcome the public hatred of having gone to Duke, and you undo it with a foolish tweet like this. Branding fail.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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