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Online Reputation Management….


Jay gave us an interesting homework assignment this week. He suggested for our next blog post that we take a look at the posts we did last year, and choose one that we felt was worth a revisit.

As I was scanning my old posts, I stopped on one I posted back in June of 2007. In this post, I talked about the concept that your online friends ARE your reputation. My post pointed out that your online persona is as much about the people you align yourself with (your friends list) as any other criteria.

For 2008, there is a lot of mainstream buzz about your online brand/reputation and the building, nurturing and protection of it. There is no end of discussion on this point – and it is polarizing in a lot of ways. There are many who believe the more friends you have, the better. And there are those who feel their online brand should be rigorously protected. And there is even a movement to allow for “Data Portability”, which would allow you to easily port your entire profile from one social media site to another.

There are some great questions on this topic, too. For instance, would you want your prospective employer to see your friend’s comments from your MySpace page? Is your LinkedIn profile good enough to act as your resume? If you have a Facebook page, should it reflect your professional or your personal tastes and interests? Should your personal blog be fair game for your boss to read?

I expect to see the business of building, nurturing and protecting your online brand – both for individuals and companies – to become a major focus for the right companies this year. The web-savvy among us will do it for ourselves. But, this is a key opportunity for companies to offer a service to provide “online reputation management” for those who can’t.