Thursday, February 17, 2011

Manage your online reputation

When doing an Open PhD or pursuing some form of life-long learning or academic study people will often speak of getting the degree, diploma or some certificate. I can see the value in having these from a recognized institution, but, in the end I consider it credentialism and no competition for good reputation management. If you are in pursuit of recognition for your life-long learning or academic study I suggest the better route would be a good reputation management strategy, rather than incur the cost and time of pursuing a credential from a recognized institution. In the age of the social graph, reputation is more important than credentials and will increasingly be used in securing jobs and showing an expertise in a subject area. I believe University credentials will decrease in value over the next 15 years and beyond.

Build an understanding;
Create a good understanding of online reputation management, the two queries that yield good reference toward this are;
 Regularly practice the following;
  1. Follow the home-base and outpost approach, post everywhere, post often.
  2. After reading a post or article and you have a comment, make it, and in the author profile link back to your home-base.
  3. As soon a you become aware of a new social media site be sure to secure your name on the site, have your profile refer back to your home-base.
  4. Write, produce, create resources that have some weight and add to the discussion within your chosen subject area. Be thorough, frequent, reference others and create quality!
  5. Set up Google Alerts on your name and other keywords in your chosen subject; monitor these.
  6. Review your traffic statistics, get a sense of why people are coming to your resources, and which keywords they are getting them to you.

The goal;
The goal of all this is to have the people you consider experts within your chosen area of study begin to follow you and make comment on your works. These people become your Personal Learning Network!

2 comments:

John Dumbrille said...

Im a fan of your blog, old buddy, but I'm not sure I agree with this post.

"Your" reputation is an aggregate of other peoples' ideas of you; the thought of "managing" those collective ideas seems like a marketing communication /My Channel approach to social media.

We are talking here about contrivances to make our reputation appear more favorable (and, presumably, good for business). It may work, like good PR works; if enough people take this approach ( many already do) then the web will be soon be awash with these contrivances (and it is).

My gut feeling tells me these instructions work now, but will be about as effective in the near future as carefully crafted meta tags on our site, repeating key words, and link farms pointing to our site: they may even backfire. Better reputation meters will arise (like Google did) making reputation management more and more un-gamable.

Defend your honor, sure. But let's not choke other people's thoughts of us in favor of who we think we want people to see us as.

Finally, if my reputation is managed in a me Vs them way, where I overpower your dim perception with my brilliant perception of myself, my reputation will eventually smell of that contrivance.

Just trying to keep the conversaton lively here:)

Peter Rawsthorne said...

John, I absolutely agree with you! I don't believe that reputation management should become a PR activity. I also agree it would become contrived if that was your motivation, it being a PR activity. What I am saying here is more from a personal reputation management perspective not a public relations perspective. I know they are close, I do believe that if you are genuinely contributing to a subject area from a life-long learning perspective it will never seem contrived. I believe the social media is good at identifying the contrivance, and always improving... This is about contributing and being recognized for your contributions. The most successful seem to do this well, they also seem good at attraction rather than promotion. What I am advocating for is making sure people can find you and be attractive by adding value and quality to the stream.