ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Personal Perspective on Online Reputation Management

Updated on March 17, 2010

As we spend more and more time online, most people have wondered about their online reputation. We simply do a Google search of our own name and see what pops up. Let me ask you a question. Are you happy with the results? Some people will take this search as a joke but businesses take it very seriously. We've all heard stories where someone called their boss an "idiot" on Myspace and got fired. Big companies call this "Online Reputation Management".

Damage Control

In the grand scheme of things, Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a fancy word for "damage control" for big companies. With the emergence of web 2.0, normal people have gained control of social media and bad press is able to travel fast. Wendy's lost millions of dollars when a story broke out that there was a mouse in their famous chili. This later turned out to be a hoax but the fast food company didn't take it lightly. This hoax did unmeasurable damage to their reputation. Seeing the potential for disaster, corporations stepped in and expanded their public relations department into the world wide web to prevent such disasters. Fortunately we still have control and we can shape what ORM means for us. Lets look at ORM from a personal perspective.

Google Yourself

I'm sure you have Googled yourself before. If you haven't, be sure to take a minute and see what shows up. Let's visit that question again. Are you happy with the results? This is what other people will find when they Google your name. This is your online reputation. Most people are not aware but if someone wants to find information about you, the easiest and most effective way is a search engine. That may sound a bit creepy but it's a reality some of you will have to face sooner or later. Imagine applying for an important job. While most jobs will make phone calls to your previous employer, in this day and age, don't be surprised if this potential employer navigates to Google and finds that you smoke weed and get high on weekends from your Myspace page. Whether this information is relevant or not, is this something you really want a potential employer to see? We can see the importance of privacy in this example but my goal is not to scare you. My goal is to empower you.


People act strange when other can't see their faces.
People act strange when other can't see their faces.

Every one of us has had this experience. We make a pseudonym to hide ourselves. We troll message boards or chat rooms. We do things we wouldn't normally do in public. Some of use engage in racist arguments, some of us swear. One thing is common, all of us are assholes when we are anonymous online.

How can you blame us? We can't take any blame or responsibilities because we don't have a face online. You do not know my name and you don't know where I live. Well, what if you have no anonymity? How would you "act" online? Things would change fast. Imagine your mother or grandmother Googling your name only to see you cursing n-bombs and disrespecting women. You'd get your act together quick!

Empower and Contribute

Look at the top right of my page. There is a picture there. That's me. I put my picture up online. Now there's a face behind these words. Now I have to be careful about what I write. I don't have to be if I don't want to. I can be bold and powerful. It's now up to me how I want to build my online reputation. I can be negative and hateful or I can be positive and helpful. I've chosen to contribute and help people with my words. It's much harder to be an idiot when your face is on the line. When your name is on the line. We all have to come out of the shadows at some point. If I want to make money, it sure helps if my customer sees my face. Likewise, if I speak from the shadows, you won't listen.

Building Rep

As we spend more time online, we build a reputation for ourselves. We must protect it. Protecting our reputations takes work but once the threat is thwarted, we can enjoy our own status.

For example, The Swiss have a reputation of building and making high quality precision watches and tools. A multi-tool company called Victorinox has developed such a reputation for quality that their multi-tools sell themselves. They also contribute to the "Swiss made" reputation many of us know about. We can build reputation online as well.

We let our reputation work for us. Many people describe this as "web presence" or "authority". As we continue to build our online reputation, we will gain recognition. It's important to build a positive reputation. By building a positive reputation, we expand our network with positive people. With a high web presence, we can influence many people. No longer will we fear grandma Googling our names to see wild drinking parties. The results are measured by success. I'll leave it up to you on how you measure success. Some of us measure success in money, influence, friends, whatever. However you measure success, building positive online reputation is key in this digital world.

Easy Ways to Build Online Reputation

There are no rules in ORM. However, there are principles I like to follow. Here are some easy things you can do to build positive online reputation.

  1. Show your face. People trust other people. There are lots of spam on the web and if you can show from the get-go that you are a real person and not a bot, you automatically build trust and people will listen to you. People tend to value other people's opinions. Show them you are a real person!
  2. Always be friendly. Remember, you are the salesman. Whether you are selling an idea or goods. If you are an author, you exist because people read your work. Always be conscious of this. This doesn't mean be fake. Just be respectful and considerate. I try my best to be friendly and I am always thankful when people take the time to read my articles. By the way, thank you! :)
  3. Big brother is watching. I don't mean to sound paranoid but nearly everything you post online gets archived. The Wayback Machine is a small example of this. Google saves the whole know entire web. Just be careful of that one night you were drinking and decided to go on a rampage blogging spree. Privacy policies mean nothing once the company goes bankrupt. The first people in line to buy all that information are marketers and insurance companies. Just be aware of what you write online.
  4. Get to the point fast. High school writing have failed us. Real people don't want to hear flowery words. Real people want information now. People that are honest and to the point are highly valuable online. Most people use the Internet to save time. They do not want to read through a paragraph of text to get what a sentence could've accomplished. Never say more than what is necessary. The more you say, the more common you appear. This is the equivalent of a real conversation where someone says, "uhhhhhh..." or "Ummmm....." People say these to fill in voids, space, and time. This isn't high school where you have to write a minimum of 500 words and 2 pages. Use contractions. They save time and space. You're not speaking to a professor. You are speaking to a person. Get personal and cut to the chase.
  5. Be helpful with your writing. People read your articles because you have done or experienced something they haven't. If you are writing a review, be honest. No one likes to get ripped off. If you don't like something about a product, say it. If you are writing a how to guide, always give tips. People love tips. Just be helpful. You get tons of information from the Internet that have saved you lots of hours. Give back and help someone else. Build a positive online reputation. Plus, it just feels good to know your writing has helped others.
  6. Always aim to accomplish something. So many people write, blog, or tweet about useless information. You can't imagine how common people tweet about going to the bathroom. Not only is that disgusting, but no one needs to know that. Never write about useless information. People that write like this build a bad online reputation. Always aim to accomplish something. Aim to inform, help, or answer a question. We're looking at the big picture here. Do you really want Google to index your tweet on how you've had a rough time in the bathroom today? Always set a goal when writing something online.

Plan Ahead

As Online Reputation Management become increasingly important, we must plan ahead. It may sound trivial today, but so much have changed on the Internet in this last decade. We are now able to shop, connect with people, find jobs, find information, dates, videos, and countless other things. This includes finding ourselves. Do you like what you find? I hope my article gave you a personal perspective on online reputation. I've enjoyed writing this. Thank you for reading and be sure to leave a comment on your way out!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Set's All Set profile imageAUTHOR

      Set's All Set 

      8 years ago from New England

      Thank you Smireles!

      Putting a face behind the writing is something few of us do yet when we put ourselves out there, we gain some credibility. Thank you for your comment.

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      8 years ago from Texas

      You have written an excellent article about ORM. Most of your thoughts have been in the back of my mind for years. You put it together wonderfully. Thank you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)