Saturday, January 16, 2010

How's your Online Rep?

I was going through my alerts today, and a Smart Planet blog caught my eye. Titled, "How to build and manage an online reputation," it's a good primer, and has some good links at the end of the article. We'll go over some of what they say, and some of what some other people say, but I recommend checking out all of the sites linked today. They all have a lot more to say than I can repeat here.

According to the article at Smart Planet, the first thing you need to do is find out what's out there about you. Just a few years ago the only people who really had to worry about their online rep were people who'd reached a certain status level in certain technical fields. Today almost any job you go to will check out your Facebook page and/or hit the search engines.

Have you googled your own name lately?

Some privacy advocates say googling yourself is a bad idea. Frankly, you can't afford not to google yourself - and Yahoo and Bing yourself (that last one just doesn't sound right, does it?).  What you see is what potential employers are going to see, and each search engine give slightly different results.

Another blog entry at onlinereputationedge.com brings up a good, but seldom talked about point - what you say about other people online usually says a whole lot more about you than about the person you're talking about. So be careful what you say. And remember, once you put something online, it will never be gone, so the bad impression you create today could come back to haunt you thirty years from now.

Onlinerepmanagement.com uses Kanye West to teach us that even the biggest blunders - or group of blunders - can be mitigated by an active online presence. Because he is very active online you won't see much negative about him when you search for his name, even after 2009's gaffs. It's amazing what an active online presence can take care of.

That's it for now. Stay safe and work on that online rep.