Should Someone Else Have to Be Responsible for Your Reputation?

March 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm 1 comment

This week in Contemporary Media Issues we read The Future of Reputation by Daniel J. Solove and discussed issues of privacy, gossip, and norms on the Internet.

In one of our classes we watched a couple of video segments about a “reputation defender”. Have you ever heard of a reputation defender? I hadn’t until this week, but now the phrase “reputation defender” and “reputation management” seem to keep popping up everywhere. In fact, while job searching this week, I found a posting in which one of the job tasks concerned reputation management.

So what exactly is reputation management, you ask?

In this day and age, people spend much of their lives on the Web. We create and maintain interpersonal relationships through email, private messages and social networks. Bits and pieces of our identities are splattered across the Internet, as is usually harmless information. But what happens when someone gets mad with us and seeks revenge, or “e-venge” (revenge on the Web)? Rumors or false information can crop up and populate search results when someone looks us up. This false information can damage your reputation, your credibility, and future.

No one has yet found a way to delete anything from the Web, so these awful things are out there for good. This is where reputation management comes in.

There are two terms you should know: online reputation monitoring/management (ORM) and search engine reputation management (SERM).

The goal of ORM is to have people speak positively about you or your brand while the goal of SERM is to shield you or your brand from negative content. SERM tactics include using search engine optimization to populate queries with positive information, therefore burying the not-so-positive search results.

Today, there are actually several companies whose only service is to keep your online reputation as spotless as possible. These include companies like Reputation Defender and International Reputation Management, but beware, their services cost a great deal.

If you can’t afford the services of one of these companies, I would suggest you look at ReputationDefender’s blog because they offer a lot of good tips for keeping your online identity squeaky clean.

Also, check out this Washington Post article to read some case studies from the two firms and really find out why you need to monitor your reputation on the web.

Keep it clean, folks, remember, you never know what you’ll be doing in the future and your online trail will never completely fade away!

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Entry filed under: COM 580- Contemporary Media Issues.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Udi Drezner  |  March 9, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Interesting question you’ve raised here. Managing good ORM is not easy, and not everyone wants someone else to rum their ORM efforts.

    I manage my own web page, as a part of my ORM efforts, at LookUppage (www.lookuppage.com). It’s an online branding tool used to create personal web pages for businesses or personal use, and it’s very simple to use. The web page is visible on all search engines, highly visible on Google’s 1st page.

    Check it out…

    Reply

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