‘Ego-Surfing’ for Fun and Profit

‘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.
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