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Online Privacy, Reputation and Identity

The topic of online privacy and how you are represented by digital information has been accelerating over the past few years. In the past six months we have seen a sudden increase in speed as companies on all sides struggle to compete for consumer dollars.

This can be seen in a variety of instances, but mainly in the amount of news coverage it is receiving. Knowing how to identify individuals through online data footprints and having the insight into how they behaviorally act on social networking sites begins looking more and more like Pandora’s Box. You can read about my previous thoughts on reputation management and online privacy or delve into the facts of how online background checks are mixtures of digital espionage and public information.

The sad part of this story is that this business has been around for years… and there are many more invasive technologies being created and utilized by digital companies than you can shake a stick at.

The recent investigative report by the Wall Street Journal on “What They Know” Read more

Reputation Management, privacy start-ups getting investment

Two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal briefly covered the fact that reputation management and privacy oriented start-ups are beginning to see investment turn-around. I’ve posted the video below for educational purposes.

From my perspective the interesting issue is that there are companies out there “ruining” reputation in the name reputation management, yet individuals using the service and investors of these firms have no idea what the long term personal, business, legal, moral, or ethical ramifications will be. Our digital identity is being cultivated, harvested, and stolen without even thinking about it.

Yet the regulation in this space is completely non-existent. Read more

Reputation Management, digital identity and your life

If you care about your career and the people you know (aka Reputation Management), I’m simply going to say this: do yourself a favor and spend an hour reading the links below.
There is A LOT of change happening in the business world: with big opportunities and risks materializing every day.

Aside from personal gossip and business rumor, the topic of reputation management is one of the biggest areas of opportunity and risk. It is a topic that  have been very involved with over the past decade: working on roughly a dozen or so projects revolving around reputation and personal name (it also included working on several personal projects examining niches of the more general problem.)

In my last two articles covering background checks and online privacy, I was voicing some of my observations about the critical nature of this beast we call the web. Read more

Online reputation specialist? expert? consultant?

I was flattered last year when a long time reader referred to me as not only an online expert, but as one of the grandfathers of online reputation. For me online reputation is far beyond simple search engine tricks and knowing what social media communities you need to be involved with: it is about knowing how an individual professional and corporate brand exists both online AND in relation your strategic future. I originally began working with the concept of online reputation while I was working at TMP worldwide and promoting the flagship recruiting product Monster.com (that was a long time ago!)

There are a lot of vultures hopping onto the term looking for is easy money to be made, but the reality of online reputation is that it is one of the hardest professions to excel in. It is also one of the most damaging professions to error within (a mistake in online reputation is often like a mistake in brain surgery.) Even in the last month, I saw several large venture capital investments in groups that have questionable service platforms. The industry evolves daily, has major technical overlap, and connects into dozens of business fundamentals. Read more