In my last post, I talked about how BlockShopper.com loves to spill gossip about you. The fact is that people can not only find out a wealth of personal information about you, but they are also within their rights to report on it. Where this was once only the realm of celebrities, today there is a TMZ (of sorts) for your very neighborhood. It’s gossip about the everyday man.
What this means, overall, is that your business brand and your personal brand are becoming “muddy.” After all, a BlockShopper reporter is more interested in your personal dealings than in your dental practice.
In this regard, is it even possible anymore to manage your online reputation? Well…
There are, of course, companies that claim to handle this. (Check out this article for details.) What they really do, though, is simply “push down” negative information—not eliminate it. By adding glowing articles, reviews, and news items, these companies fill up the first page or two of Google with positive results, pushing any negative items back several pages.
Just as celebrities have “handlers,” it seems that nowadays we are less able to “manage” our reputations than to simply “handle” them. (As a complete aside…big kudos to Tom Cruise’s secret handling team. How did you get that guy to stop jumping on couches?)
The bottom line is that the complexities of modern life and privacy are becoming more challenging than ever. Awareness, however, seems to always be the first step in any change machine.
So, I’m wondering…
- How does knowing about your increasing lack of online privacy affect you?
- Is there a conflict between public record and public knowledge?
- Would it even be possible to shut that privacy door, now that it’s opened?
- Do you think that opening up the can of worms about you personally will, in turn, hurt your business?