March 28, 2010

A new attitude toward online reputation?

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch stirred the post today with a post titled Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions. The premise is:

If anything, Arrington understated the case, by focusing on two kinds of disclosure:

That overlooks two other threats:

I.e., Arrington was even more correct than he seemed to realize.

Fred Wilson responded by suggesting that the key issue is making sure that enough good things are said about you to more than compensate for the bad ones. I emphatically agree with that too, as per my 2008 online reputation dictum:

The internet WILL tell stories about you, true or otherwise. Make sure your own version is out there too.

Where Wilson fell down a bit is in suggesting that you should get so many good things said about you they should completely crowd the bad ones off the top page of search engine results. First, this is difficult. Second and more important, if somebody is checking you out for a job or whatever, there’s a good chance they’ll click through to the second page of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). But otherwise his thoughts are spot-on.

To paraphrase Andy Warhol, everybody is a celebrity for 15 minutes, or to an audience of 15 other people. And for many of us, you can tack a few 0s onto those figures. So there’s no reason to expect any more privacy than celebrities have — but there’s also no reason to expect any less tolerance for our failings than is shown to them.

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3 Responses to “A new attitude toward online reputation?”

  1. Liberty and privacy, once again | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on April 4th, 2010 9:03 am

    […] week ago, Michael Arrington posted the social side of the same coin, saying It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions, by which he seemed to mean: In a world where all kinds of embarrassing information will come out, […]

  2. Ellie K on May 30th, 2010 3:48 pm

    It is interesting to read Michael Arrington’s evolving attitude towad privacy and social networking i the interim since your article was written in late March 2010. I actually enjoy Michael A’s stories and bravely spoken points of view, even when I think he is incorrect.

    However, when he made those comments in late March, the F8 from Facebook and all the rest that followed was yet to happen…..

  3. What our legislators should do about privacy (and aren’t) | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on July 28th, 2013 11:39 pm

    […] addition, society at large needs to be tolerant of people’s peculiarities and failings. But that’s the least of my concerns, because I’m optimistic that we’re getting […]

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