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Comment Online

Create or Repair Your Online Identity and Reputation One of the most helpful things you can do for your online reputation and search engine results is to make relevant comments on other sites that link back to you (if possible). It demonstrates to those looking for you that you know what is going on in your industry and you are involved. It also is a great way to network online.

Go to Google or Technorati and search for sites and blogs that relate to your field of interest.

Become familiar with the sites and blogs by watching them for a while (bookmark the sites or subscribe to their RSS feeds – check out Google Reader). When you feel comfortable with the tone and content of the site and the comments on the posts/articles, jump in and offer a comment to enhance the conversation.

Use Your Real Name

Commenting online is an opportunity to build your online reputation, so use your real name when commenting on other sites. In addition, many sites will allow you to link back to your other online profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.). Take advantage of these opportunities to help build search engine rankings (search engines like links to and from your sites).

Think Before You Post Online

Think first before you post – in fact, it is a good idea to write out what you want to post in a different software program first so you can read and re-read it before you post it. There is no hurry to comment; take time to think before you hit the send button. You’ll never regret it.

A good rule of judging whether to post something online is the Rotary Club’s Four-Way test:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The reality of our more open, networked world is that we all have to be more careful of what we say online. What you post on the Internet is as permanent as a tattoo, and it is often as hard to get rid of.

  • Don’t try to be cute or funny or joke with people you don’t know.
  • Never post in anger.
  • Don’t use the comments section to promote your products, services, etc.
  • Don’t be a bully or a troll.

If you are posting questionable content online and think you’re somehow being anonymous, you need to think again. Unless you are a technical wizard, data tracking companies who know who you are, where you live, how many kids you have, where you shop, your credit history, and an amazing array of other things about you.

In addition, there are ways to match your real name to the pseudonyms you use on blogs, Twitter, and other online forums. New York-based PeekYou.com has applied for a patent for the technology to do just that.