Off topic or on the right track?

I spend a lot of time talking to my students, former students and colleagues about personal branding. And the more I talk to them, the more I start thinking about younger users of the web. I have had a chance to speak to high schoolers a number of times about the changing world of journalism and social media. I remind them that a simple Google search (and Bing and Yahoo) can show you a lot about your personal brand. And I tell them that you should think about your personal brand now, not later. But that got me thinking about my children. I blog about each of them, they have their own gmail accounts (and thus Google profile and Buzz accounts that I haven't activated) and I plan to help manage their Facebook (or whatever social media tool is cool at the time) profiles until they are 18 (probably against their will). I think parents need to think of ways to jump in and think about personal branding before that brand is established. That way I don't have to help them fix it by the time they are in high school or college. How early is too early to worry about a person's brand? If you search for my kids, you'll find a picture of my son from the local newspaper and nothing about my daughter unless you know the name of her blog. In this searchable and cached world, how early do we need to worry? Do I just spend too much time talking about branding and parenting in separate venues that I'm merging these two topics because I'm obsessed? I just thought I'd throw it out there. I might be off topic for this blog but at the same time I wonder if I'm on the right track.