The last 20 years have witnessed many success stories over the net: sites such as Yahoo!, Altavista, Geocities, AOL, Google, Amazon, WordPress, eBay, Hotmail, Wikipedia, MySpace, Flickr, Delicious, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest all had their days of glory. Some are still around, others fell into obsolescence, but each one of them changed the way users perceived and used the Internet. Vendors of enterprise software naturally followed suit and came up with a number of corporate solutions to mimic the capabilities of those popular online services. However, often the results observed inside the firewall were disappointing. Our corporate intranets are often uninteresting, inefficient and outdated, a pale shadow of the vibrant sites that keep popping up beyond our corporate boundaries. Why does that happen? If page-rank search, blogs, wikis, social networks and microblogging work so well out there, they should just thrive in the workplace too, but we now know for a fact that they often don’t. Understanding the reasons why Internet success is not easily reproduced in a corporate environment is the fundamental first step to change that pattern.
Many hands make light work. Changing your reputation online is no small task. It’s also a house of cards. You can either do it yourself, about yourself, for yourself; or, you can start the equivalent of an online reputation club, inviting friends, family, your colleagues, and your industry to start building a universe of content that is germane and salient to who you are, what you believe, what you’ve done, and what you’re doing as well as who they are, what they believe, what they’ve done, and what they’re doing.