How to Control Your Online Reputation and Identity – Italian Language Book Available Now
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” —Warren Buffett
In the age of Google, it might take even less than five minutes to tarnish a reputation. Consider that just one 140-character message directed to a journalist can catalyze the unraveling of a corporation or a celebrity and spark a stain-covered search results page.
Bruce Clay Europe’s director Ale Agostini has written a book in Italian about Your Reputation on Google and Social Media, titled just that. With a third of the world’s total Facebook population residing in Europe (Internet World Stats data from Dec. 2012), this book covers territory that everyone should be aware of as they conduct their business – personal and private – online.
I asked Ale why now was the right time for a book on this topic:
“The difficulty of keeping a good online reputation is well understood in Italy mainly by companies with established brands and by VIP people that are well known. Other than that, it is still a mystery and people only realize the need when the problem occurs. The role of this book is both to spark awareness by bringing evidence to light and to offer solutions to prevent online reputation problems.”
Ale has set the stage for his new book with some words of introduction, which follow. After you read it and are reminded of the complex online environment in which reputation management, monitoring and maintenance is critical for your future, check out his book, available for purchase on Amazon. —Virginia Nussey
In the Age of Free Information, Your Good Name Comes at a Cost
Many people today draw most of their information from search engines and social platforms rather than from spoken conversations and word of mouth; this has given rise to the coining of the verb “To Google”, a term used to refer to the online search for information as a basis for decision making in real life (purchasing a holiday, hiring an employee, short listing a supplier).
Research carried out by Google (ZMOT) showed how on average in 2011 consumers used 10 different sources of information during purchase operations, as opposed to the 5 sources accessed in 2009; in other words the bulk of fresh and immediately available information online has broken down the information asymmetry between the opposing parties, redressing the balance and providing a very broad information platform to anyone capable of acquiring information online on anything that interacts with the real world (companies, products, services and people).
So today, when faced with something they are not too clear about, many people try to bridge the information gap by turning to digital information sources that contain more or less reliable/updated information.
If to this we add the conclusions reached by B.J. Fogg in his research on interaction between man and machine which in a nutshell claims that “the more a user uses a digital instrument with a positive outcome, the more they trust that instrument”, it’s reasonable to presume that the average user who doesn’t know us, when faced with contradictory information, is more likely to believe what they find out about us on Google and Social Media than what we ourselves say or write.
This striking assumption makes the management of our online and digital reputation at least as important as the offline one we build up within the fabric of our social relations. Search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) and the most commonly used Social Media (Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter) determine our image and reputation in the eyes of those who know us less: however, the individual user has very little control over these 2 giants of online communication.
The book Your Reputation on Google and Social Media (original title in Italian La tua reputazione su Google e i Social Media) helps the user to understand how these search engines and Social Media (mainly Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin) work and the best tools and procedures one might adopt to successfully manage our image as it transpires from a search based on name and surname (or vice versa).