Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How can you monitor and manage your online reputation?

You're out there. On the Web, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of references to you -- in company newsletters, college alumni notes, and friends' blogs. So how can you monitor and manage your online reputation?

By: Scott Kirsner | From: Fast Company magazine

It's not a trivial question. Google, as well as specialized search sites such as ZoomInfo, Ziggs, and LinkedIn, are increasingly being used for instant background checks. Apply for a job, hunt for venture capital, ask someone out on a date, or meet with a prospective business partner at a trade show, and chances are your reputation will be researched.

Exercising Soviet-style control over information that's already online is near impossible. ZoomInfo, which combs automatically through the Web to build a dossier of an individual's jobs, affiliations, and educational history, does allow people to correct the resulting profiles. But "if you remove something from your summary, and the information is still out there on the Web, we'll find it again," promises vice president Russell Glass. He adds helpfully that "your best bet is to go to the source and ask them to remove it."

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