So Wired thinks online reputation management is one of the biggest trends of 2007. Being on the sharp end of Internet marketing meant that we have been experiencing the need to track mentions of our customers online for a while now. It was this internal need that led us to develop reputation monitor.
It's good to see more and more companies realising that more open-ness can bring them more business - but everyone needs to realise that the more visible you are online, and the more your customers discuss you online, the more carefully you need to stay aware of the discussion.
I found the following quote from the Wired article one of the most telling:
Google is not a search engine. Google is a reputation-management system. And that's one of the most powerful reasons so many CEOs have become more transparent: Online, your rep is quantifiable, findable, and totally unavoidable. In other words, radical transparency is a double-edged sword, but once you know the new rules, you can use it to control your image in ways you never could before.
The most powerful reasons for monitoring your reputation online are the scare stories - the examples of stories that ballooned out of control, having started on blogs - again Wired gives us an example:
When Shel Israel and blogger Jeff Jarvis wrote about wretched treatment by Dell's customer service, their posts were so gleefully linked to that for a while they appeared as the number one and two search results for "Dell."