OK, so this guy Mark at work is always trying to get me to do more personal promoting. I think he’s secretly just messing with me, but at least he pretends to be really into it. Apparently 2012 is the year that content creators take back the night*, so I need to show off how great I am and then you’ll all pay me for writing things somehow. I don’t really know how it works—we haven’t really worked out all the details. Anyway, the implementation plan is simple: make my Facebook page more interesting, send out lots of tweets, go to events, start an awesome blog and buy a personal website that has a picture of me even stupider than the one above. I hope you’re ready, Hong Kong. What? You’re not? Oh, this is awkward. Maybe it’s because personal promoting leads to confusing things like Yalun Tu likes Yalun Tu’s new status about Yalun Tu. If you’re an actual celebrity, sure, promote away, but if you’re someone like me I’m not sure what you should do. Also, you’re very tall and handsome. In the offline world, most people’s self-promotion is just bragging. And the strategies employed are varied. They include: a) fake humility as brag (“it’s really tough on me because I get taken advantage of for being such a good friend”); b) pretending to ironically mock bragging people but using that as a platform to brag (“meta-brag”); c) shameless name-dropping; or d) straight-up brags (“the Kanye West”). Me, I started with c) until I realized I didn’t know anyone famous so have switched to d) but only when I’m really drunk since people can’t tell if I’m joking or serious or what I’m saying since I’m slurring my words so badly. Somehow this hasn’t helped too much for personal promotion. So I guess I gotta go online. So back to Mark’s plan. We agreed that I’d buy the domain Yalun.com and post all my content there and try to get a following. To make it cool, we were going to pull a mainland China move and rip off Yahoo’s logo and hire somebody to perform the Yahoo! yodel except using my name. Sounds awesome, right? No? Shut up then. Go buy a Time Out magazine instead of getting this for free. That’s right, internet trolls. The magazine is free, so shut up and enjoy. So I log onto the interwebs and immediately go to RedTube to buy the URL Yalun.com. And it turns out Yalun.com is this douchebaggy website called “Beijing Aaron Dress Company Limited” that sells early 90s Kenneth Cole-looking outfits. WTF internet? And, what's worse is that the website’s model has that smug hey-I’m-just-some-white-guy-that-showed-up-in-China-and-now-I’m-inexplicably-a-model look on his face. And apparently the Beijing Aaron Dress Company is what happens when people try to look me up online, with “people” being defined as my mom and the other people she forces to look at Google searches of my name. And so—poof! Like that, the experiment failed. Mark abandoned me and like any good Hong Kong expat I gave up when things didn’t go my way and complained about my perfect life to all my friends (“the reverse psychology brag”). I’m not really sure how to promote myself or what it will do but I do know that I’m bad at it. So until I figure it out, you can read all of my stuff in HK Magazine and tweets on Twitter, which I’ll do a lot of and then forget for six months then do some, and then forget for a few months, and then give up, and then read an article about how social media is the future, and then do some more again. I hope you have more success in your personal branding. And if you need some clothes for your branding consider some attire from Yalun.com. It’s like H&M but worse in every way. *It might be the year of something else. Yalun Tu is a columnist for HK Magazine. You can reach him at email@example.com or @yaluntu on Twitter.