Awhile back I wrote about Facebook etiquette and the apparent challenge we have socially in figuring out the threshold of appropriateness. It's not uncommon for most human beings to be fairly unaware of how others receive the content they post and how they come off to others. Now that we are connected to everyone from our best friends, grandparents, school teachers, our kids friends and their parents, etc…it's hard to remember that just because you are alone at your computer typing the details of your crappy mood, your divorce gone wretched, or your stomach issues that started that morning, EVERYONE is watching.
In this day and age your reputation in the social sphere and how you handle yourself can also affect other crucial aspects of your life like employment. I don't necessarily agree that employers should be able to require access to your Facebook content but I do think that if you are a loose cannon online and haven't locked down your content, you blew it.
For those that have good intentions but would like to possibly see their own content from the outside, Reppler just launched their personal social media monitoring service, designed to help you 'keep your social reputation clean.' You might wonder how many companies really care about that stuff but according to a study commissioned by Microsoft in January 2010 from Cross-Tab, seven out of ten employers searched the web for information about potential employees during the hiring process. Interestingly enough, more employers and colleges routinely rejected candidates over concerns that were based on a person's lifestyle choices, photos, and other content discovered on various social network profiles.
Reppler's tool (with your permission of course) logs into and runs a scan of your Facebook Wall and then provides you compartmentalized feedback on the good vs. the bad, the positive vs. the negative, and other posts by your or your friends that may be considered offensive.
After running a report on my own account I was reminded that I have my security/vulnerability access locked down pretty tight (yay me!), that I say 'heh' a lot, and most importantly my content might in general be considered positive or innocuous.
I think that in this economy you can never be too careful about your online reputation. I think it would behoove any active Facebook users to at least try out Reppler. I also feel compelled to say that if you need a tool like this to remind you how to behave in a public forum online or off, you probably have bigger fish to fry in the organic social world.
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