'Ego-Surfing' for Fun and Profit

| October 3, 2000

'Ego-Surfing' for Fun and Profit, Patrick Dent, Online Journalism Review
Ever type your name into a search engine just to see what turns up? So-called 'ego-surfing' is not only fun, says Patrick Dent in his monthly column 'The Technodog' in the Online Journalism Review, it's a professional necessity for prudent journalists and high-tech job seekers concerned with managing their online reputation. Take, for example, the problem of 'Internet namesakes'--people with your name who also turn up in a search: '[P]eople searching for your name will often assume all matches apply to you -- no matter how many John Q. Publics there may be in Cyberspace,' Dent cautions. 'Imagine I just finished an interview for a management position in an Internet company and I am generally feeling very confident. . . But what if, in searching the Internet after the interview, they discover I've published racist manifestos, am a known felon, and that I regularly post vicious and libelous diatribes about corporate executives -- including one from their company. . . Or at least, people with my name do.' Dent's article is full of practical tips for handling these and other such situations, as well as a handy guide to which search search engines will get you the best results. -- LU
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