“Online Searching and Monitoring” sounds like the work of PI’s and the FBI.

It doesn’t sound like something one must remember and put serious thought and consideration into when maintaining and developing ones online identity.

Naturally, one can hire an agent or entire organisation to handle this area of one’s life, however it is something that an individual can teach themselves, through the grace of common sense, how to do.

I, as a kind effort to this blog, set up Google Alerts for my name. Surprise surprise (but please act surprised because my self esteem won’t handle it) I came up with no alerts. Simply because I am a fairly dull and uneventful and a non famous woman who does not yet understand the full power available to project myself through social media. Yet if you’re wanting to watch what people say about your brand, topic or image, Google Alerts is a pretty sound way to do it.

Social Media Examiner provides more examples on how to search and monitor online identity through other portals such as: If This Then That which is a website that allows you to create macros essentially for your online sites whilst IceRocket is a website that provides instant search of blogs, twitter accounts etc for terms that you are monitoring. Now I personally did not know of any of these websites that provide this much access to raw data that relates to whatever your heart desires – and there’s something eerily beautiful and haunting about it…

If you had money to burn and needed a professional to assist you in your online profile or brand, then organisations such as Trackur might be your knight in shining armour. Trackur is one of many organisations that provides a service and I quote “Trackur offers powerful measurement tools, while guaranteeing you’ll be up and running in less than 60-seconds. Your reputation doesn’t have time for a steep learning curve”.

Now, one mustn’t forget how monitoring can be cool and useful to a degree, until it becomes a behemoth task that makes you look like crazy cat lady with computers snuggled in her arms rather than cats… It might sound somewhat awesome, because where the hell would one get so many computers if one was crazy but the point is, you might be monitoring a reputation or brand that’s gone from appealing and attractive to frightening in a Boo Radley way (without the happy ending).

The world, in its separate cultures, is sensitive to different interactions. These sensitivities, which can be surprising to an Australian, can be common to an American. For example, here in Australia, the use of swear words such as ‘hell’ and ‘damn’ have such a minor effect that they aren’t even considered rude. Yet in countries such as America, these words would never be uttered in public. Shocking I know. To provide you with concrete evidence, see the Michelle Pfeiffer video when at 1:29 she uses what she thinks are swear words. Your heart will laugh and spit at her simultaneously.

Speaking of simultaneously, I remind you to never forget, when you search and monitor your online persona, to remember that you may not be the only one watching you specifically. Note that the Australian government has enormous systems and task forces in place to watch the public and the online personas of each individual. Naturally, I respect that they may only watch for flag words or dangerous behaviour, but don’t forget that your online persona is not private. Its public and available for the world to see. Attempt to avoid posting nude images of yourself, or others for that matter. Also attempt to avoid commenting on a topic that you do not understand – the number of people ready to attack you is immeasurable and can’t be underestimated.


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