Do you know what the internet says about you? And would you want your mother, or your boss, to see?
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Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some
of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
I occasionally get questions from people that boil down to: “how do I remove
myself from search engine results?” The answer of course is track down every site
that mentions you, convince each of those to remove you from their content, and wait 3 to 6 months for the search
engines to re-index. Even then, there are sites and archives and search engines that
didn’t remove you, won’t remove you, or just don’t care.
So when you Google yourself, do you like what you see?
Will your mother like what she sees? If she’s on-line, you can bet she’ll be looking.
Will your potential employers like what they see? We’ve all heard stories of
people doing really well on their interviews, only to be declined an offer after
the employer discovers their blog or the blog of a friend detailing
drunken parties, stories of previous employers, or worse.
Will your customers like what they see? If you have any kind of an on-line
personality, or are personally identifiable with your business, you can bet that
customers will look you up. Will what they find offend them? Will they perhaps think twice
about doing business with you, or visiting your web site?
That last one is a particular dilemma for folks such as myself. Yes, I have
a personal blog, but how much should I put in it?
Most weblogs are a form of
personal expression – an uncensored venue for people to talk about, even rant about,
topics that interest or motivate them. The problem, though, is that even though there is no
formal relationship between personal and business venues, there is a very real
practical one. People interested in me and my business may stumble upon my personal
rants and opinions. Even though it has nothing to do with my business, my personal
blog naturally reflects on me, which becomes part of my public persona, which in
turn can impact my business. Even mentions on other sites not under my control
become a part of who I am on the internet.
The bottom line is that while you and I have the right to post or say whatever we choose
to in our personal venues, doing so without considering the bigger picture could be
a huge mistake. Whether it’s a lost job opportunity, a pissed-off friend or family member,
or a lost customer, every aspect of our footprint on the internet can play a part.
Think long and hard about the potential side effects before you start posting
all those cute personal stories in your blog. A couple of lost job opportunities later,
and you may be very sorry if you didn’t.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10392 in
the go to article number box. Leave a comment, I read them all.
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