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The internets and you

16/04/2009

In my previous blog entry, I highlighted the importance of being aware of the conversations that are taking place on the internet about your company.

This week, I take a more personal angle; what does the internet say about you?

The danger of so called “personal” online social content is that if you’re not clued up with the site’s particular security settings, you may have just told the1,463,632,361 internet users in the world that last night you had a big night on the town and danced on a table!

Long before I joined Hot Pyjama Productions, I was at a job interview where the interviewer admitted they had tried to find my Facebook page as a reference of my character.

Due to my security settings, they hadn’t managed to find me but were quite surprised that I, the interviewee, had already googled them, the interviewer, and found out which high school they went to, what they had studied and also the last two places they had worked. I hope this showed my ability to use my initiative!

Even without an internet profile, you might be surprised what you can find online.
“Google” yourself now using quotation marks either side of your name, e.g. “Mark Lincoln” and make sure you click “pages from New Zealand”. You should find that more recently updated activity will appear higher up the search rankings. Useful information for those of us who manage a website! If you have a more common name, try adding the city you live in to your search query.

For me, this would tell you that I have written in a blog (this one!), I have worked at Rock & Ice and Wattyl, I have an interest in photography and I have written a book on World War II. All true except for the last one and, perhaps more importantly, all information I’m happy for the world to know.

So be warned, even an out-of-character answer you might leave to an annoying TradeMe question could be used by others to judge your character! The basic rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say it to your boss/client/mother/local reporter then don’t post it on the internet!

PS. Appearances in magazine articles apply here also!

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