I just recently found out that my boss isn’t as square as I thought. He’s been using the Internet to find things and research people. Maybe he is reading this right now…
There are a million reasons to care about what you say and what is said about you online. Savvy marketers have known this for a long time and have used online sources to establish credibility and pimp their businesses.
Here are a few other thoughts on managing your personal online reputation:
1. Potential employers can search for you online. You don’t want them to read your blog rants or see that awesome photo of you on MySpace with a giant beer while playing drinking Jenga.
2. Competitors. There’s only one first place. Personal business or trade secrets posted online can be easily found, leveraged, used against you. So please don’t brag about your new secret product in your “working on” status on Linkedin. Many people Twitter about who they meet with, what they talk about, and how cool it is. It’s easy to monitor the competition when they hand it over to you in your RSS feed.
3. Distant relatives once found my resume on Google and proceeded to send me “hilarious” email forwards. There was no way out. Since I opted out of their BBQs, I have eventually phased off the list, but don’t let this happen to you!
4. General embarrassments and wacky misunderstandings often occur when you put it all out there. Remember, I can see what you write, we’re “friends”.
With the amazing impact of social media, it’s more important than ever to consider who can find the personal information and photos you post online.
And remember your boss reads your blog. Don’t call him a square.