Saturday, 12 February 2011

Online Reputation – Some Initial Thoughts



1. The general estimation in which a person is held by the public.

2. The state or situation of being held in high esteem.

3. A specific characteristic or trait ascribed to a person or thing: a reputation for

At a professional level, maintaining a good online reputation is about ensuring that your online profiles, networks and online-behaviour, reflect the appropriate standards and expectations for your profession. What is deemed as appropriate will vary from profession to profession, with the expectations/perceptions of schoolteachers, as role models of society differing from the expectations/perceptions of television celebrities as role models – who may deliberately pursue provocation. For some maintaining a “good reputation” is about “behaving badly”. Reputation is a slippery and somewhat subjective concept.

“To begin developing an online reputation, consider how your personal or company brand should be perceived. What is your brand identity / what is your value proposition / selling point / unique voice? Once you have developed the image you would like your constituencies to perceive, develop a strategy..”

Content posted through your personal online networks could also have an affect on your professional reputation and the reputation of your employer.

“The disclaimer currently reads: "Scottish & Sober-ish.. Civil Servant. This is my personal account, personal views. Nothing to do with my employers. What I retweet I may or may not agree with."”

"The fact is, your personal and professional lives are colliding and blending like a 99 cent frozen margarita on Cinco de Mayo — and that trend will march onward, not backward."

Generally speaking, maintaining a good online reputation is about being guided by an awareness of and sensitivity to the potential effects that your content may have on others. A quip, intended for a close friend on Facebook may be seen in an offensive way to “a friend of a friend”.

“Concern over reputation is sometimes considered a human fault, exaggerated in importance due to the fragile nature of the human ego. William Shakespeare provides the following insight from Othello:Cassio: Reputation, reputation, reputation! O! I have lost my reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!”

Like good offline reputation we need to maintain usual standards of moral behaviour/codes in the online environment. It is important to remember that in the online world everyone is a witness and what you say as text, in a photo or in a video could be archived, shared and used (possibly for your defamation) across the world. A good online reputation will ensure that you will be held in esteem by your followers and friends, who in turn may offer recommendations, which may extend your networks and deliver professional/personal opportunities. Good reputation will help to establish you as a leader and expert in your field.

“Social Capital is created every time you do something positive effecting your household, community or country.When you do any kind of activity online or offline you are creating social capital. Everything you do - either posting a photo, comment, review, doing volunteer activity, or complaint - your input can be turned into social capital if you document and save it in a proper place..”

Monitoring Reputation

When I tweeted “#ucpdwep Changed my blog to Blogger. Wordpress just not Google enough”, Wordpress replied to me! Clearly, it has become important for businesses to monitor reputation and to challenge negativity towards their brands.

“Listening creates the opportunity to take action and resolve internal problems or deal with malicious information, both of which can negatively influence your corporate, and even personal, reputation.”

“Quite literally, ‘You ARE what you publish,’” says David M. Scott, author of the books World Wide Rave and the best-selling The New Rules of Marketing and PR. “What I mean by that is whatever your company publishes online (and what others publish about you) IS your reputation. So if you are not in the social media sites, you don’t exist. But others are talking about you..”

Opportunities To Improve Your Reputation

Following #hashtag topics – I followed #technology and #elearning and received a bombardment of tweets. I can see how topic streams can deliver live information, events, news etc from experts working in these fields, offering opportunities to make connections with key people and to retweet timely and relevant information to my own followers.

Joining Diigo groups – I joined EdTech group and Technology Integrated in Education group in Diigo. I have received one weekly update from the EdTech group, supplying a handful of interesting bookmarks to use as reference material and to share with others. Again, this is a good way of connecting with key people in a particular field and benefiting from subject based collective intelligence.

LinkedIn – I can see how using LinkedIn, the professional social networking site, could be used to meet other professionals in a field of work and to extend professional networks. LinkedIn is a way to promote your professional skills and experience, make “good contacts” with the intention of furthering your career and/or establishing/promoting yourself in your professional role.

“Make Your LinkedIn Profile an Online Reputation Management ..55 million users aren’t here to share inane details about their life, but rather to meet other professionals in their field, expand their skill sets, and promote their positive reputations on the web.”



  1. Hi Lisa,

    Good to hear the example of wordpress monitoring their brand - Good timing for this week's topic :-)

  2. Another interesting and thorough post Lisa! I like the comment that for some maintaining a “good reputation” is about “behaving badly”. A good reputation for one is a bad reputation for another. Depends on how you'd like others to perceive you.

  3. Hi Lisa with rergard reputation - good point about perceptions and therefore context will also play its part.

    Keeping all profile pages or significant pages up to date will be an important part of establishing a good reputation online.

    I like your point about "being guided by an awareness of and sensitivity to the potential effects that your content may have others". Like in real life we consider the impact of our actions and we also present different faces in different situations. Other key thing to consider is who you associate with online this could also have an impact epsecially for example in facebook where posting of friends will be adorning your news feed (individuals can be blocked, but still be a friend).

    Good to hear that some of the tasks have opened up potential to expand your network and improve your reputation