Friday, July 20, 2012

Everybody's Talking about You

In a Chicago business publication Tracy Samantha Schmidt discusses how to repair and/or improve your on-line reputation. There's some food for thought (and action) here, but I have to wonder if we overlook the continuing import of old fashioned in-person gossip. Plenty of people are savvy enough not to spill the beans on Facebook; and some of the best genealogists are the most careful at expressing any untoward opinion at the wrong place or time.

And there's something, well, corporate, about one of the strategies Schmidt describes: overloading the search engines with information about you, so that any negative pieces will become buried and hard to find. Wouldn't it be wiser to act so as to deserve a good reputation, on line or off?

Schmidt does get into the substance, too. Among other things, "Everything you post online should be free of spelling and grammar errors." In genealogy world, it would also help if it was free of citation and terminology errors like "primary source." Those of us still struggling with why source documents are original or derivative, information is primary or secondary, and evidence is direct or indirect, may want to keep on lurking and check out the first two chapters of Evidence Explained. Now there's a reputation defender.

Tracy Samantha Schmidt, "How To Improve Your Personal Online Reputation," 5 July 2012, Crain's Social Media Group ( : accessed 18 July 2012).

Harold Henderson, "Everybody's Talking about You," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 20 July 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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