Morning Advantage: Can Personal Branding Go Too Far?

Telling your story —and telling it well — is key to developing your digital brand in a competitive work world. But for some professions, crafting this narrative can raise ethical questions. In this past weekend's New York Times Magazine, Lori Gottlieb takes us into the world of branding consultants for psychotherapists, who help practitioners in the fledgling field tailor their brands to capitalize on niche markets and needs. Tweeting and Facebooking is encouraged, to both familiarize potential patients with their therapist and to be readily available across platforms. And since (according to one study) "Thirty percent fewer patients received psychological interventions in 2008 than they did 11 years earlier," a targeted message can mean career stability.

But does this openness undermine the proven tenets of psychotherapy (including the importance of being a bit of a blank slate that patients unconsciously project their feelings onto)? And does it create an unsolvable tension for the profession? "If we give modern consumers the efficiency and convenience they want," explains Gottlieb, "we also have to silence our nagging sense that we may be pandering to our patients rather than helping them. "Will we do therapy in 140 characters or less, or will we stick to our beliefs but get a second job to put food on the table?"

THE HEALING POWER OF A PHOTOGRAPH

Fighting Cancer With Cell Phones (CNN)

Cervical cancer is a devastating disease anywhere. But in Africa, more than 50,000 women die from it each year, and 80% of the cases are detected late. But a new initiative is looking to spot cancer early — with cell phone cameras. The plan is to send small number of health care workers into remote areas of Tanzania to photograph a woman's cervix during a health screening. The photographs will then be texted to specialists who can make a diagnosis and order treatment almost immediately.

A FIELD GUIDE TO FACIAL HAIR

The Beards of Silicon Valley (Wired)

For males in America’s high-tech hotbed, a beard is essential to success. But not just any beard. You must carefully grow your facial hair to suit your role in the business ecosystem. If you’re a Unix administrator, a full beard is necessary. Mustaches are for legal analysts. Long sideburns are for tech support. Illustrator Kelsey Dake takes you on a tour of the phenotypes. -Andrew O'Connell

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How Much is a Partridge in a Pear Tree? (Christian Science Monitor)
Why Are Hotel Rooms So Expensive? (Slate)
From Russia With PR (ProPublica)

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