My online reputation

I have been reading a bit about this lately through various blogs and articles, including Your Virtual Brand by Meredith Farkas in American Libraries, but it all came very close to home through a couple of things that happened to me personally.

Reputation

Reputation by krossbow on Flickr

The first was news I shared on Twitter. I didn’t think much about it as my Twitter posts are protected. There was no real damage in the news, I just forgot that my Twitter feed was also going to Facebook, so the news got out to a wider audience,  sooner than I had planned.

The second was about my Blogger account. Connecting Librarian used to be on Blogger, but when I decided that I wanted to do more with my blog, I created my own domain name and exported all my blog posts across to it.  However, my old Blogger address still remains as a marker, referring anyone interested to the current location.

Recently,  I got an email from someone I didn’t know, wanting to take over that blog address. I politely declined.

So why are either of these things a problem? Because my online reputation is important to me. Lots of people know about me and what I do through my online presences. Lots of people know me only online, having had no contact or very little contact with me in person.  I have established an online reputation through my name and through the name Connecting Librarian.

Its also important to me because online is where I do the vast majority of my professional networking and I don’t want to undermine the professional relationships and more importantly, the real life friendships I have established online.

In the online world, it is extremely difficult to apologise for a mistake or to re-establish your reputation. Case in point: Catherine Deveny recently being fired from the Age for comments made on Twitter.

I know I have a reasonably good reputation online. How? Because occasionally in real life, I get chatting to or introduced to someone who says that they have friended me online through Twitter or Facebook or follow my blog. I still grin like mad when I remember that I got that sort of response from Karen Schneider when she visited for the VALA 30 year Anniversary series in 2008. I also get the odd email from someone looking for some assistance in whatever way, hoping that I can help or point them in the right direction.

So I don’t want to do anything which will seriously compromise my online reputation – such as saying something in an unwise or untimely manner, or doing something which could undermine my Connecting Librarian brand, like giving up my Blogger account.

So I have had a bit of a wake-up call about being a bit more cautious in what I share and keeping this more in the back of my mind as I deal online. I plan for this not to change what I do dramatically, just make my hopefully do so with a bit more wisdom.

So have you had any online reputation scares or offers? How do you protect your online reputation, or if you don’t, why not?

2 comments

  1. Hope you also like the article in the May 2010 edition of ALIA’s inCite magazine page 13 ‘Social Networking – advance your career prospects, don’t destroy them’ http://www.alia.org.au/publishing/incite/

  2. Hence why season creep the blog and the Twitter has no connection with my Facebook. Far too embarrassing.

    Also, partly why my Frankston Blogs participation was via the comradely name – but that was in part also so I could be critical, antsy, provocative and occasionally quite personal without it being obvious that it was that bloke from the Council library who we thought was so nice. It meant I didn’t have to follow Council policy too.

    Creative expression sometimes have to live in a different realm.

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