I’ve been listening to a recent ABC Radio show on Managing Your Online reputation with Yvette Adams, and online reputation is something we don’t consider seriously enough in the connected world.
Facebook photos of after-party faux pas; pages you ‘like’ on Facebook; venting on Twitter about your idiot boss; open and denigrating crticism in LinkedIn. This isn’t the ‘real’ you? Apparently it is, according to Social Networking vs Real Life and No Lie, Your Facebook profile is the real you.
It all builds an online profile of you and it stays in the Cloud F.O.R.E.V.E.R.
That’s a very long time, a long time after you tweeted that vent, changed your mind about what you ‘like’, grew up emotionally, changed jobs, and applied for that serious, Manager position. Then wondered why you didn’t qualify for an interview.
A great introductory book on this topic I can highly recommend is LOL…OMG! where the author, Matt Ivestor, ‘provides a cautionary look at the many ways that today’s students are experiencing the unanticipated negative consequences of their digital decisions – from lost job opportunities and denied college and graduate school admissions to full-blown national scandals.’
So, how can the educator help their students manage their personal online reputation?
1. Share the LOL…OMG! book with your students. Make online reputation awareness a part of their ICT studies, Business studies, Personal Development studies, Multimedia Studies, …
2. Register yourself on http://www.google.com/alerts to watch what is posted on the internet about you.
3. Make sure positive messages provide balance to your online identity (effectively burying any negativity). Link to your positive aspects in your networks and blog, to raise the SEO (search engine optimisation) ratings, so these pages with positive information are the preferred options given as a list.
4. Spend the money on claiming your domain name (myname.com) so it can’t be hijacked or misused (this can be unintentional if a person of the same name in the world legitimately sets up a website but you have conflicting morals and ethics).
5. Use the privacy controls of your social networking site to restrict what is published. This only helps in Facebook until your prospective employer requests access to your profile as part of their interview process.