I recently traveled to the southern United States. Away from my home for over four weeks, my mail accumulated at home and at work, envelopes filled my mailbox, newspapers overlapped each other in the yard, emails took significant time and data to download. It was overwhelming, like a garden that hadn’t been weeded in years, there was a lot of work to be done. Determining what belonged, what didn’t, what was important, what wasn’t, what needed to be responded to, and what should be ignored.
Beyond the issue of time consumption and minor papers cuts accrued by all that mail, there were more serious consequences; an overdue electric bill, an unanswered wedding invitation, and a non-attended mandatory jury duty. The poor upkeep and ill managed mail resulted in ruining my reputation financially, with the electric company, personally, with the future bride, and legally, with the court system. It took several months to undo the damage acquired in just a few weeks.
Consequences, large or small, inevitably follow when we let such problems go untreated.
This is also true of our onlinereputations, and the management of such. Without constant upkeep, your onlinereputation can quickly become an unruly garden, a pile of junk mail and overdue bills.
Unfortunately, cleaning up a messy online reputation is not as easy as weeding a garden or throwing envelops in the recycle bin. It can take days or weeks to determine the root of the problem, and that is just the beginning. After determining the problem, the hard work comes in reversing or correcting the reputation which could take months or even years.
Of course, the solution is obvious: be consistent in managing your onlinereputation. But, it may be too late to do simple monitoring and upkeep. You may just be starting, going back through several years of online content to begin the process of reputation repair. If this is the case, you may need professional assistance, your time and energy are valuable, but the dilemmas and necessities of repairing, monitoring, and managing your online reputation cannot go undone. Each day technology is growing, more people are connecting online, your online reputation will only grow from this point forward, you must be proactive in ensuring it grows positively, and not negatively.