The Importance Of Online Reputation Management And Improvementby CarleneMarse Having a good reputation is very important in all kinds of social settings. It is essential for being able to work or even have fun with other people. This is also true of those online settings that constitute social settings, or societies. Let's look at some ideas for online reputation management.
There are key differences between online societies and the more conventional ones where people have face to face, or at least voice to voice, contact. For one thing, a lot of the non-verbal communications that we take for granted in conventional society are not available. The tendency to stereotype people based on appearance or even accent is mainly nullified. As in the saying, on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog.
What does online society mean? We could call the whole Internet a society. Only a few people, such as Bill Gates, are going to have meaningful reputations at that level. Most people aspire to online reputations in smaller groups. Perhaps it makes sense to say that an online society is an online environment where people have enough interactions that it makes sense to speak of them as having reputations.
You can't manage your online reputation unless you have one. This means you have to interact enough in the environment to give people a basis for opinions about you. To use some jargon, you have to be visible. Create content, such as comments in discussion groups, that has your name on it.
It is also important to be reliable. The goal is not just any reputation, but a good reputation. Work to ensure that you don't post erroneous information, particularly if you are answering a question. If you say you will get back to someone the next day, be sure to either do so or post a note explaining why you cannot.
Being helpful is perhaps the most important aspect of building a good reputation. If someone is asking for help and you have the time and ability to help them, do so. If you see a problem developing, point it out, being diplomatic about it of course. Try to make your helping visible, carefully of course. It is much better to have someone else beat your drum than to beat it yourself.
Arguments and other disagreements can be difficult in the online environment. Negative statements tend to be perceived as much stronger than they might have been intended to be. Your tone of voice and body language cannot be posted, so their moderating effect on the words you use is missing. It is very important to be calm and moderate when posting anything online. It is probably best to not use sarcasm because it is almost always misinterpreted.
Be careful about posting disagreements or criticisms, for the reasons stated above. If you say something negative in a face to face conversation, your tone of voice will usually moderate the emotional content. This doesn't happen online, because no one can see your face. The safest way to be negative is to use private email whenever possible. Even there, work on moderation.
These are some things to work on for a good online reputation. Some of them are simple common sense. However, it is always a good idea to remember two things. One is that anything you post to a public area may be read by anyone. The other is that posts with emotional content are easily misinterpreted because the message is just the words, not how they are said.
Created on Dec 31st 1969 19:00. Viewed 0 times.
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