editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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Reporters should pay attention to their online reputation

February 19th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Do you know who is talking about you?

Newspaper reporters are used to readers writing letters to the editor complaining about or complementing their work. They know that their names can be raised at governmental meetings and even in other publications. But are they equally aware that their names may appear in online forums, chat rooms or elsewhere online?

Thanks to the growth of the Internet, it is not uncommon for people to discuss online what they’ve recently read. In addition to stumbling and digging stories, readers can post them to their Facebook or Myspace profiles as well as to dozens of other social bookmarking and sharing sites. So many place for a reporters name or writing to appear, that they might just lose track.

There are a couple of approaches to dealing with this issue:

Google Alerts

This is a topic that I’ve previously written. “Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.” So what you can do is create an individual alerts for all the permeations of your name. Additionally, you should create an alert for any username that you publicly use, such as your Facebook Myspace usernames.


Frequently when you leave a comment in an online forum or blog (you are reading forums and blogs and commenting when appropriate, right?), you can subscribe to receive further updates. Now while this won’t tell you if the conversation that you are having leaps to another forum or blog, but it will let you know how people are responding.

While those are both methods that will notify you by email of updates, there are other sites that you can check on your own, they include:

Or you can subscribe to a service like Naymz, which has its own Reputation Monitor product.

This list is far from comprehensive, but it is enough to get you started. If you want to go deeper or learn more about this issue, try Googling phrases such as “Online reputation management” or “Online Reputation.” But at the very least, set-up the Google Alerts, it’ll only take you a few minutes, and then you can just sit back and reap the benefits.

Have another approach to monitoring your online reputation? Share it here.

Tags: Audience Development · Beat Development · Online · Reporting

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shawn Smith // Feb 19, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Great Post Yoni! Reputation management is an often-overlooked aspect of producing content for the web. The more interactive you get, the more your name will pop up from place to place, which supports the argument that one should always be as honest and transparent as possible when posting items to the web. Otherwise, what you say could come back to bite you, and if you’re not managing your online reputation, that bite could be pretty nasty.

  • 2 Greg Linch // Feb 24, 2008 at 1:46 am

    This is a topic is extremely relevant among college students, particularly with the recent rise of JuicyCampus.com — even though the creator said it is not accessed by outside search engines.

    Poynter had a great article discussing online identity in December (http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=101&aid=130793), which inspired me to weigh in: http://www.greglinch.com/2007/12/poynting-out-ones-online-identity.html

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