Life After Ombudsman | What is Your Online Reputation?

Date: November 29, 2011

We make decisions every day about how we choose to portray ourselves in public, and those decisions can influence how people react to us. Our actions, our appearance, the words we choose – these things all contribute to our public image, or how we are perceived by others.

Generally, we want others to view us in a positive manner. While we cannot control what others think, we can control our own behaviors that influence how friends, parents, teachers and others view us.

In this post, we’ll explain what makes up your online reputation. Up next, we’ll explain why managing your online image is more important than ever. Finally, we’ll invite you to discuss your thoughts, and make your own suggestions for ways to manage your online reputation.

When we choose actions and words that demonstrate characteristics – positive or negative – we are building a reputation for “being” a certain way. You may not realize that when you participate in social networks, blog or post photos online, you are contributing another reputation – your online reputation. Your online reputation is just as important as your “real life” reputation, because it can affect how your future employer, college admissions office or even a total stranger – perceives you.

As you graduate and begin life after high school, we want you to be successful in all you do. We hope that this discussion provides you with the information you need be safe and smart in your online communications.

What makes up your online reputation?
Your online reputation is the sum of your online activities and the content you publish.

Here are some components of your online image:

  • Status updates you post on social networks like Facebook and Twitter
  • Images you share on Flickr or Facebook
  • Videos you share on YouTube and elsewhere
  • Posts on your personal blog, Tumblr or Posterous account
  • Location information you share through services like FourSquare and Google Latitude
  • Comments you make on other people’s blog posts, articles and on message boards

And don’t forget:

  • Comments that others make about you in social media or in blog posts
  • Images of you that others publish on social media platforms

Next, we’ll cover managing your online reputation and why it is important to realize what you post online can have a positive or negative effect on your future.

Next post: Month 3 | Managing Your Online Reputation


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