Potential Client Googled Me

It finally happened… in a new client meet and greet the executive director of a local nonprofit came to the meeting having done a Google search on me.

Not the first time people have done this. I Google myself on a fairly regular basis to make sure some random weirdness hasn’t shown up in the online universe. A sales rep I work with at the very cool University Readers Googled me and brought up this piece of evidence to my past. Fortunately, something I’m pretty proud of.

However, it was in this meeting that the advice and the “warnings” to my students that you’d be Googled prior to a job interview came to pass. And it was a good thing. I blog, I have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, I’ve been mentioned in others blogs… I also have a 2000 resume that floats to the top 10 results that I can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of. But it’s not inaccurate. In fact, it’s kind of fun to look back at how I positioned myself in my resume my senior year as an undergraduate.

So I was pleased that this client had taken the time to do his research. A Google search on me does a nice job of painting a picture of me as a professional and academic. Although this is not me.

I do have a MySpace page and I have much less formal baby blog for my son – so it’s not all PR strategy, client service and professional history information that’s out there. You can find the post I did about the Scrubs “musical” episode and cutesy videos of my baby grooving to George Michael’s “Too Funky,” but that’s ok. It’s not embarrassing and if someone spends that much time figuring out who I am, those goofy posts certainly give a glimpse into my personality.

If you’re having trouble with your online identity, take some time to clean up the stuff that worries you. It’s hard, but worth the time and effort. This Wall Street Journal article is a great overview.

Barack has more friends than me

According to TechPresident, Barack Obama is outpacing Hillary Clinton in the number of MySpace friends that each has.

Barak: 87,000+
Hill: 33,000+

Lowest number on the scale, Christopher Dodd (at just over 500). Shocking. This guy looks like he’d be hip to the MySpace groove:

On the Republican side, Ron Paul (load his page and get a clip from Fox News…) has the most MySpace friends at a whopping 5,000 (give or take a few). Brownback has just 285.

What will this all mean? Hard to say… but I’m sure we’ll all be tracking it.

note: Barack Obama has 1500 times the number of friends I do…

Watch What You Say When the World is Listening

I try to communicate the importance of online language and “presence” to my students – in class and as an adviser. The basics of spelling and grammar aside, a recent inappropriate post on Jeff Jarvis’ well-regarded blog, BuzzMachine, brings the point home once again.

An individual named Chris (no last name) recently posted a rather obnoxious comment. Jeff has had some trouble with Dell, as in Dell Computers, which he’s documented in his blog. I loved PR Guru Richard Edelman’s take on this saga. He makes some outstanding points.

My take is this – when you are representing a company, whether you are a summer intern (as “Chris” turned out to be) or you’re the executive of the company, you must conduct yourself online as if the whole world is listening. Chris, I’m sure, has spent his high school and college days learning to communicate online through such sites as MySpace and FaceBook. And the type of comment that Chris left for Jeff may have been acceptable in that realm when talking to friends. But it was wholly inappropriate for dealing with a professional writer.

I’m often amazed at how horribly unprofessional emails from students can be. This is an excerpt from a recent email (name withheld):

I’m sorry about not telling U ahead of time about my unplanned absence. Like
I mentioned I didn’t know that I was gonna be absent that day until the day
of. Our plans were to com back the night before and that just didn’t work
out some how.
I’m really sorry that I walk in late a lot. It’s just really hard for me to
catch the bus on time. I live pretty far out & I know that parking is
impossible on campus. On top of not having a license.
I was wondering if our quiz was a scantron quia or a write in answer or a
paragraph? If it’s a scantron do we need to bring out own? Thanx a ton!

If you were Dell, or even the corner coffee shop, would you want Ms. -xoxo representing you. Is this the way she would pitch an editor?

PRos in training, please remember that what you write in email or online is a representation of who you are and what you have to offer an employer, etc – and – that the whole world may indeed be listening.

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