This is the first weekly post in a series of short blogs about mastering the Internet. How long will it continue? Well, Ken Blanchard said that feedback is the breakfast of champions. So, if the series has any value to you the occasional bit of feedback will encourage me to carry on.
This series addresses the question of how you can increase and manage your reputation/visibility on the Internet. If your web reputation or visibility doesn’t matter to you then read no further. If it does then a small investment of time each week can potentially increase your visibility (or that of your business) significantly over the coming year.
What are my qualifications in writing about it? Well, they are modest. I’ve been interested in and involved with computers ever since I was the administrative manager of one of the biggest IBM 360 installations in South Africa (I still have nightmares about it). That was back in the days just after programmable calculators (and BC – before computers) when we used punch cards and wrote software programmes in Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN and machine language. When Bill Gates was still in nappies (well perhaps he was just out of them). I was an early owner and user of an Apple II. And, today I blog, tweet, scoop.it, manage my reputation and visibility, and battle nobly to maintain several WordPress and Joomla websites. So, make your own judgement.
Does what’s shown about you on the Internet matter? Does your Internet reputation matter? Well, do you look new people that you meet up on the Internet? Do you Google their name? Do you read their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles? I think that most people do nowadays. And, if they look you up what are they going to find? In the past few years I have found that one person I was dealing with had been charged with attempted murder and another was debarred from seeking contracts in a particular industry. Several people who were trying to be my friends were not real and were using someone else’s picture on their profile. So, it’s likely that if you don’t manage your profile it will manage you.
This week’s assignment is straightforward – Google your name or that of your business e.g. “Joe Bloggs.” Then print out the first three or four pages that appear. Look at them carefully. Do you appear on the first page of the Google search? Have you found anything that makes you unhappy? Does your LinkedIn profile or Facebook page appear? Next week we’ll start and talk about what you can do as part of the new look you.