Managing all your personal information online can be a daunting task. This handy user friendly book by Herbert Tabin and Craig Agranoff is the best primer on managing personal information online I’ve seen so far.
Before I begin the review, I do need to express a concern, but it doesn’t apply just to this particular book. This whole new sector of “online reputation management” concerns me. I agree it’s necessary to have and use all this information. I just hope people understand that using the term reputation can be confusing. I prefer to call this category of service “online information management,” because that is all it basically is. You cannot build or repair a real reputation by managing online information. Reputation is as reputation does—it is not a series of profiles or search results. Having said that, I’ll move on to the real review.
Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management (Pendant Publishing)is just what it claims to be, and it does it well: a step-by-step guide to building or repairing your online reputation. The authors define online reputation management (ORM) in two pieces: what the internet says about you, and the way you are perceived on the internet by others. The point that many people are shocked when they do a simple Google search of their own name is well taken. So what’s a person to do?
According to the authors, ORM works by “suppressing negative information about you to the bottom of search engine results while driving positive information to the top.” They go on to explain the basics of algorithms used by search engines and also explain the frequent futility of trying to use the legal system to remove false online information.
Two things I really like about this book: it is loaded with great resources—websites, instructions, illustrations, and much more. The second thing is that it is process-oriented and thorough. If you pick up the book and implement their suggestions methodically, by the time you reach the end of the book you will have gone a long way towards building an online presence that will help you stay in control of your online information. The key to managing is being proactive and establishing a wide online presence before negative information surfaces. If the lies show up before you do, the process becomes harder.
I highly recommend this resource and will also be recommending it in my Practice Safe Social workshop. Thanks to authors Tabin and Agranoff for producing an exhaustive how-to that will help people take control of their online information. Have you read any books on managing online information that you would recommend in the comments?