1. Excellent post, Laurel. There are more and more twiter users popping up like TUBEdotTV and worse: my favourite example at the moment goes by the name of PrivateMessages. I’m probably a little less charitable than you and think of many of them as spammers. I recently blogged my thoughts on what I believe is going to be a growing challenge for twitter and other social networks.

  2. Thanks Laurel, this post left me thinking carefully about my own online reputation and the type of reputation trail I leave. In particular it made me wonder about the percentage of times I ask for help as opposed to the percentage of times I offer it. Most of the time my offers are less than my questions, not because I don’t want to help but because I may not have the knowledge or the confidence to put my suggestions out there. But if I am also really honest sometimes I will read something and think, if I had a spare 30 minutes I could probably go and find that or look that up for someone but in our time-poor life we have to sometimes pass. Your comments about twitter also hit home. As an avid twitterer and a lurking plurker, I also vet the friends that I choose to follow. I work in education so I find twitter to be a wonderful social and educational network which is invaluable in my work. However your thoughts about the profile made me think much more about mine and about the message I am giving out by not ensuring that I write the profile well. So thanks. I’m going to revisit my profiles, attempt to help more than I request it and continue to follow only those friends and colleagues who have the same interests and passions as I.

  3. Hi Sean, one would think by now that spammers understand the harm they do their brand, but I guess not 🙂

    Hi Anne, wow! thank you for your kind words! I hope you aren’t too harsh on yourself, we all engage carefully at the beginning, only investing more time and energy later, when we are sure the relationship/network is worth our attention and energy 🙂 No way am I putting up my baby photos and home address until I know I can trust both the host and the other members. Heh.

  4. Laurel,
    I saw this post mentioned on Twitter by Anne. You have done such a great job in articulating my thoughts!! I thought I was odd by wanting to know who someone was, where they were from and what they do, before following or ‘friending’ them. From the beginning (Jan 08) I have chosen to have my face as an avatar and use my full name for Twitter and my blog. A risk I took at the beginning and am glad I did.

  5. I’m not sure how I’ve managed to miss this until now, Laurel, but I’m glad I found it! You’ve really hit the nail on the head and this is something I’ve been thinking about myself of late. As a younger tweeter I’m always looking out for wiser industry experts to learn from but, as you so clearly point out, it is a two-way street and no one wants to follow someone who’s all ‘take’ and no ‘give’. Great diagram too!

  6. Nice work Laurel – your post reaffirms that despite the speed of the internet and the ‘instant’ results it can sometimes generate, it still takes time and effort to build a personal (and corporate/brand) reputation.

  7. Hey, I read it!

    Funnily enough, it took me a while to ‘trust’ you on twitter. There are just too many social media consultants, brand management ‘gurus’, etc, etc, that all seem far to polite and boring and and nothing to twitter as a community. Like a Hallmark made for TV movie, they play it so safe to protect their ‘brand’, they end up just being bland.

    So for me, when i see an Australian following me, i tend to follow back, but the words ‘social media’ have the opposite affect. It gives me pause.

    I guess i just don’t want to be another follower number in their next Powerpoint presentation on the value of social media.

    I keep meaning to write a “Why i probably didnt follow you back on twitter” post.. Maybe i should.

    Anyway, this post made me update my twitter bio. 🙂

  8. @fulltime casual
    We here at SilkCharm Marketing Enterprises thank you for your comment and assure you we are listening. We must also advise you that, as per the T&Cs, guidelines and conditions of commenting on this blog, your comments may appear in our boring-as-batshit death-by-powerpoint presentations at corporate pissups. Have a nice day, and don't forget to fill in our marketing poll for some crap prize such as the ipod that we have lying around the office, so we can send you spam mail to your email account.

  9. hey, as long as i don’t have to sit through it, you can use me in any PowerPoint presentation you want. As for filling out a form for the iPod, what is this, the stone-age? Don’t you just have some goldfish bowl i can throw my business card into?

  10. What do those thin feedback arcs mean? For example how is Trust information used to improve content? Or Reputation used to target connections? There is something missing from the diagram I think.

    1. Yep, because it’s time focussed – first day basic fill out of profile, first week, more profile/identity, first month offering content leading to Trust, and first year, gain a leadership Reputation. Of course it’s not that exact timeline 😛
      But if you don’t like the feedback, you go back and change some elements. Early on, we fix our profile, later on we offer better content (e.g. better answers to questions). You only need one “you didn’t hat tip that” or “we dont’ agree” and you will sit back, evaluate and edit yourself.

      I’ve also noticed that later on, some normal mild people decide to take on the bad boy or troll persona. That may not happen on day one – they watch the play first – then move into that role. So yes, the feedback arcs say that we adapt our activities over time.

      Note: if you run a social network, a change in sociability (rules, colours, events, rituals, leadership programs and so on) may cause those feedback arcs to change dramatically, and quickly for all members.

  11. Agree with most of what you have to say, BUT there are exceptions. There really are a few people who do not think of themselves, nor care to be, influential. There really are a few people (albeit, VERY few) who are not promoting blogs and peddling themselves as “journalists” or some other imagined self-important designation. I am on fb and twitter, using my own name on fb, to keep in touch with friends and family. I really couldn’t care less about my “social reputation.” Those who know me, personally, either trust me or don’t. I don’t sell anything, and am not looking to buy anything. Twitter is, for me, an opportunity to comment on things in the political and global arena that OTHERS have to say–rather like talking to the television during a broadcast, but with the remarkable advantage of the comment having a real person at the other end. I’m invariably surprised when I receive a response to those comments, but glad that I have at least made my thoughts known to those to whom the comments are actually directed.

    I neither have, nor care to have, a large group of followers. One might reasonably ask “then why are you reading this page?” Just started following a trail, ended up here and was struck by the nature of the thing. Thanks, done!

    1. Yes of course if you have a locked personal account this doesnt apply.

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