Thursday, May 14, 2009

Web Secret #52: StepRep

The Internet can be lethal to your personal and professional reputation.

You have no way of tracking if those unfortunate photos are now posted on someone's blog, or if someone has written snarky comments about your latest article/event/business on their website.

Some people respond to a negative invasion of their privacy by following my tips on becoming Web Dead.

But most of us are here to stay. So what can we do? We can sign up for a FREE StepRep account. StepRep allows you to monitor, manage and build your reputation and it takes less than five minutes to set up.

All you need is a Google account (if you don't have one you can sign up for it on the Step Rep website.) You fill out a profile with your name, your work and company information, any websites, blogs, etc. your involved with. Then you click "Go Get It".

I signed up and within seconds, StepRep pulled up dozens upon dozens of articles, blogs, newspapers, and websites that mentioned me. There was stuff even I had forgotten about, like a letter to the editor I wrote to the New York Times in 2002, a tweet about my blog entry on The Ethics of Online Counseling, and a comment I posted on someone else's blog.

Better yet, you can note whether the mentions are positive, negative or neutral. You can even click "not relevant" and StepRep "learns" which items are not important to you.

Anything positive you can use to promote yourself and your business:
  • Post positive remarks on your website as testimonials
  • get in touch with people who are saying nice things about you - they could become clients
  • post comments on blogs and gain increased visibility for your organization.
Negative comments? You can:
  • learn from them
  • ignore them
  • respond to them
StepRep - an easy way to find out who your friends and enemies are - in just seconds.

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