Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management, or ORM, is the practice of consistent research and analysis of one’s personal or professional, business or industry reputation as represented by the content across all types of online media.

With increasing time being spent on social networks people are at the same time growing their online trail. The trail defines who you are, who your connected to (friends on facebook) and what your interests are. Being “googled” is a common term nowadays – if you do, what will people find? How do you control or influence what they find and what is the importance of doing so.

Who you are and what information is available on the internet about you may or may not clearly articulate who you are in the offline world. Without context, viewers can then form perceptions which may or may not be accurate. Online personnas can be constructed, can influence viewers, can allow you to express who you are. The internet is now an integral part of everyone’s lives and therefore people should now think not only about their reputation in the offline world and how people perceive you, they should think about what information on the internet can be accessed about you and how they perceive it and form opinions of you. How then does that affect the way they interact with you whether it’s in an online or offline format.

Most people have 3 themes to their lives. People can choose to promote or attempt to restrict what others can see online.

Social Theme – The most readily avaialble as people use Facebook, twitter and blogs to voice their opinions, expressions and who their “friends” are. It is also the theme most restricted as people attempt to contain their profile to people they choose to let in. The question most has is who to let into your community or tribe and what access level do you give them. Do you allow old school friends to be friends even though you have not spoken to them in years. Do you allow work colleagues and even bosses to be friends given they can see you tagged in photos that may not be of  professional nature!

Professional Theme – Linked In, Twitter, Industry Communities are all examples of how people exert their experience or knoelwdge in the hope of gaining repute for their chosen field. The nature of this blog allows me to publish and promote my views from a professional point of view. Very different to my Sport blog.

Hobby or Interest Theme – Blogs, Facebook groups, Online Forums where you can connect and discuss our views in line with your interests. Again – this person can be very different to the social personna where people see you converse on a friend level and in photos in restaurants or bars or the professional personna where people see you exert your views in the interest of gaining respect of your knowledge.  A case in point is my sport blog which is very different to the content on this blog. I’m the same person but in a lot of cases, people don’t realise how different you can be.

This Blog will be my forum for discussing the need to develop and manage your online reputation. I will evaluate tools on how to do so and seek opinions from people who’s lives have been affected by not taking control of their reputation. I believe this is an area that will become increasingly more important over the next year as people use the internet more for seeking views on businesses, products and people before they form opinions and decisions.

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