Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Web Secret#195: Nobody Knows You're a Dog

Raise your hand if you've ever heard the saying "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

This adage began life as the caption of a cartoon published by The New Yorker in 1993. It features two dogs: one sitting on a chair in front of a computer, speaking to a second dog sitting on the floor. As of 2000, the panel was the most reproduced cartoon from "The New Yorker."

Now raise your hand if you knew what the Internet was in 1993...

Initially, some argued that the cartoon marked a critical moment in Internet history, when it moved from being the exclusive domain of geeks and academics, to being a topic of general interest.

To others, the cartoon symbolizes an understanding of Internet privacy that stresses the ability of users to anonymously send and receive messages.

But what does this concept mean for you, a professional?

Simply put, on the Internet, nobody will know whether you are a two or a two hundred person operation, nor an expert with one or twenty years of experience - unless your online presentation is unprofessional.

If you have a professional looking website, use Twitter, Facebook and other social media appropriately, upload professional photos instead of candid snapshots, users will think that you are smart, current, honest and dependable.

If you are going to put yourself out there, whatever you do, it better be sharp, and classy.

Otherwise, users will assume you are a dog.

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