Be careful with your online brand…

As the popularity of Web 2.0 is growing, so is the ability for others to observe and evaluate your story and your personal online brand.  This article from JASE marketing reports that a “survey of 500 top colleges found that 10 percent of admissions officers said they look at MySpace and Facebook to evaluate applicants.”

I’ve always lived by two golden rules with regards to blogging:
1) Blog only something you would wish to see printed and cited at any time in the future.
2) Do not edit or update a blog assuming that a printed/archived/cached copy of the original does not exist.

It’s a general faux pas to update a blog post for any reason.  The web is alive with caches and indexes so the chances are that the original is still out there for people to compare.  Spelling errors are generally ok, but if the content of an article is to be updated it is good form to list at Updated: [description of update] at the top or bottom of the post.  If an opinion is being revised, be clear about why there is a change in stance.  Comments are a great way to revise an opinion after learning new information as it allows readers to see the thought processes and perhaps benefit from the same line of thinking that provoked your own turn around.

Web 2.0 means we are all ultra-connected.  This can be great not only for staying in touch with friends but also for business networking and establishing a reputation and a brand in the online world.  However, remember that this “permanent record” can go both ways: and this one is for the world to see.

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