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Who is John Wall?

My wife’s friend is a teacher and she has a sign that says “You are special and unique, just like everyone else”. So for the record, I am unique as the only John J. M. Wall III and in fact, the M. has never really been made public and even the Goog doesn’t have it in the index yet.

For some reason, it’s been all about me this week. Bob decided to name this week’s episode of the Beancast after me (because of the snappy jingles he introduced for each co-host this week).

Then, high school basketball phenom John Wall signed with the University of Kentucky, causing “John Wall” to trend on Twitter. Two people mentioned it to me this morning, Mike Volpe over at HubSpot who blogged about it, and my nephew Ben watching SportsCenter at home. I mentioned to Ben that some of the hoop scouting blogs said he had “shady handlers” and was arrested for breaking and entering a few weeks ago. He said “Yeah, sounds like the kid’s going to the NBA”. I don’t believe any of the negative press about John, from what I’ve heard about the moral and ethical standards of college recruiters I believe that people would say anything to make him look bad in the eyes of other schools.

In an even more bizarre coincidence I went to UMass during John Calipari’s run, and I have the picture to prove that this is not the first time Calipari/Wall has been on film. For those who don’t follow College Hoops, Calipari energized UMass as coach starting in 1988, and is now at Kentucky and got the Blue Chip recruit for the Blue Cats.

Calipari and Wall circa 1996

Calipari and Wall circa 1996

UMass basketball is a topic for another post, but let me at least say that when I was a Freshman I could walk in at any time during a game and get to be within 5 rows of the team, by the time I left people were sleeping out over night in the cold to enter ticket lotteries. I’d like to say that this is because I am the ultimate UMass hoops fan, but the truth is that one of my classmates was on the Women’s team and they played before the guys and I used to watch both games.

The hot recruit from Word of God, NC is not even the closest match, there’s an Attorney in Maine named John J. Wall III, a California photographer, the guy who owns JohnWall.com, and a CEO who grew his first company to $150M (that’s the record I’m shooting for and I’ll be happy with 1/5th of that). There’s also one of those emails that your crazy Uncle sends you with a long letter about sending liberals to some other country or something, written by a John Wall. I usually ignore the Facebook requests from that one, although I give special attention to ultra conservative groups asking for my help to overthrow the government and add them to my firewall block list, as well as the conservative students that all seem to be female, from southern schools, in sororities and tend to have interesting spring break pictures. I may have friended a couple of those, or at least passed the links on. (Hello people?!? One day you may be looking for JOBS….)

Bringing it back to the stuff I normally write about – it’s interesting how technology deals with the brand mismatch. I knew that this college recruiting season would be a big deal almost 2 years ago, the first time John started getting attention from college scouts and showing up in my Google Alerts.

After months of tuning my Alert has been honed to:

“John Wall” -basketball -recruit -God -duke -kentucky -miami -“California Nature”

As a result I’m still getting info about me and I didn’t get a single alert about him signing today.

On the other hand is my own brand. While it is true that I no longer own page 1, I’m still listed there. When I first saw this coming I also did a little research and noted that the Michael Jordan who teaches stats at Cal Berkeley always has a spot on the first page, regardless of what #23 is up to. That and the fact that there are injuries to be avoided and rings to be won before the chance of the press really piling up for Wall, and as much as I think it would be great to see him go up to the big show, the odds are tough (but I think he can pull it off).

As long as I continue to generate content (especially in the off season), I’ll show up in the places I need to. There’s also another post in the fact that I am not looking to grow market awareness, I’m already at a point of having to turn down projects to work on because there are not enough hours in the day. My focus is not on getting more eyeballs, but generating more value in a fixed period of time for my stakeholders and myself.

The JohnWall.com URL has been gone for years, I do have john-wall.com and all other relevant URLs on watch lists so I’ll be notified if they come up. I do use my name in the Title tag over at The M Show, but podcast blogs are already in the hole when it comes to Google juice with the normal cast getting 75% or more of the action from iTunes. And don’t tell anyone but The M Show was written off about 6 months ago, I still do it for fun and the remaining “subscribers” that I just call friends and family.

This will probably end up being one of the topics we discuss tomorrow morning on Marketing Over Coffee, so be sure to check out the Thursday show. One final plug – Chip Griffin had me on as a guest for the Bullseye Media Radio (aptly titled “All Stupid, All the Time”), you can check that out here. Congrats to John and Coach Cal, you’ll be on my brackets for the next couple of years!