Do you know what people say about you on the Internet? Search Engines are pervasive but not particularly discerning about protecting a reputation. They catalog everything they find. If you have a name like "Daryle Niedermayer", you can be pretty confident that you're the only one in the world--anyone looking for you on Google will find you and only you! If you have a name like "John Smith", you might think that you can hide in the anonymity that there are thousands of people with your name out there--and very little chance that just by entering your name, someone will actually find you. But what if they add your home town, your, your place of employment, or some other more unique quality, association or habit about you? What will they find?
Whenever I'm about to meet someone for the first time, I "Google" them first. I do this to see what their interests and habits are. I want to make the first steps in a new relationship seem as fluid and relaxed as possible. Understanding what interests the other person gives me some conversation starters and an initial sense of who this person is.
I'm not a person who is quick to judge others. We've all been to parties where we got a little out of hand; or we've had communications where our passions overruled our better judgment. I hope other's feel the same about me, but I can't be sure.
There are entries on Google that do not put me in the best light--either because of what I've done, or what others have said about me. Or sometimes the obscure, trivial little facts about me have made it much higher on the search ranking than their real weight should warrant.
Whether we like it or not, who we are is no longer limited to our friends, families and colleagues. The World Wide Web has given us a persona and a brand which is now world-wide. How we manage that brand is an important part of how others perceive us and whether they want to do business with us. One tool to help with this is a new website called "Brand Yourself". Want to see my profile on Brand Yourself? Then click on http://daryleniedermayer.brandyourself.com/. Or better yet, get started on managing your own on line brand by creating your own account.