My colleague Rajat, told me about a bizzare incident that set me thinking. Rajat’s friend, a teacher, came rushing to Rajat one night and needed help; someone had written negatives comments about him on wikimapia. He was speachless because his reputation was being tarnished.
This set me thinking if it were to happen to us. The most important brand is “You”, which requires as much effort as it would required for a multimillion brand.
People search and background checks are common ways to find out about the reputation
. With Google at your fingertips, doing this has become easier (know more here
). Not just your name, Google will show all such instances where you have been mentioned. Good or bad, Google is a reputation engine, and it does it work by bring you the most relevant result.
Protecting this area will become as important as getting good recommendations for your job/college course. Good news is that there is already a number of social networking sites, which help you with things to start with.
I’m listing simple points that you should keep in mind…
1. Go with your complete name: Make it as extensive as possible. e.g in linkedin, choose a linkedin page with your name e.g
2. Create a blog/microblog: If you don’t have time to extensively blog, join twitter, which people call mindcasting. There are number of ways in which you can connect them with other folks and tell them about stuff you like of don’t like.
3. Be Transparent: DON’T EVER FAKE your identity on the net. Sooner or later your lie will be unearthed. Article on Fake Nandan Nilekani
is a great read on this.
This also goes with your promises, weigh your words before you send them out, there is nothing like “off the record”. It is not surprising to find that your words start appearing on the blogs/quotes etc.
4. Create a impactful online impression: Good photograph with a complete profile are necessary. Inlcude links, comments from other people who know you. Make the profile complete with contacts. If possible make this profile sharable. Google Reader has a great way to share your subscriptions along with your profile. Better still if you can have a podcast/Video of your
5. Monitor Your Online Reputation: You can do a simple search of search engines such as Google/Yahoo/Bing and get to know the mentions. For more popular entities (such as Mr. President Obama) Twitter is a much better source. The number of follower determine the popularity and reputation.
Final piece of advice, put some effort and start investing in your reputation now and before
the-shit-hit-the-roof kind of situation.
Margaret Mitchell rightly said…
“Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was”