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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Online spin control

There’s an interesting ongoing debate on news sites around the Web about what the digital natives are doing to their reputations and future job prospects with all this public blogging and social networking. At first glance I thought this USATODAY column was just another commentary about how doomed teen social networkers’ reputations are. Then I got to the part with some good advice (maybe I’m just biased because it’s like what I’ve been saying). USATODAY’s Andrew Kantor writes, “It pays to go on the offensive and take some control over what people see about you online.” Toward the end he concludes that “if you're a small business [sub in “a person”], even if you don't need a website, you need a website. Otherwise your reputation is completely in the hands of anyone who wants to write about you online, good or bad. When a comment about you on a small blog is the first thing people see when they search for you, you need to spend some time on your cred.” Tell this to your kids and have them read “Overexposed teen,” a compelling example. Kantor’s bottom line: “Businesses and individuals need to be proactive when it comes to their reputations.” See also a commentary from the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Fry, linked to in “Growing up in public," looking at whether today’s online youth really will “pay the price for youthful indiscretions.”

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