John Akerson's Thoughts

Business, technology and life

The Reputation Economy is Here.

Dan Schwabel has written two posts on his Forbes Blog in the last week. His message is that “the Reputation Economy is Coming.”  Alot of pieces of the Reputation Economy are coming together at warp-speed. Here are a few:

MANY anecdotal stories of people who have been fired, arrested, not-hired,(cisco-fatty, etc).

Millions of people who meet and begin relationships due to *something* online.

Businesses running into serious issues… (Kenneth Cole, etc)

Colleges considering online info during interviews

If Dan Schwabel’s cited research is even close to correct that “80% of HR professionals use online reputation information… and that 70% had rejected a job candidate due to what they found online.”

It seems there is enormous evidence that whether the subject is personal, professional, corporate, or really from ANY perspective: The Reputation Economy is not coming, it is *here.*

What do you think?

March 1, 2011 - Posted by | Business, Competitive Advantage, Life, Marketing, People


  1. I also read one of his posts about how online profile will replace the resume someday. Agree the “online reputation” is already here for many of us, particularly those in marketing communications but it will vary and depend per industry. For example, I am not sure an RN needs an extensive LI profile (unless applying for management position) and a blog, though like anyone would want to be careful about personal networks like FB, what’s shared there. I think a fantastic CPA with first rate credentials, references might be fine without it, depending on the position. HR managers and SMBs are smart to look at the whole package when hiring candidates, but as always judgment of a 5-year old FB post should be measured and considered in proper context. FWIW.

    Comment by davinabrewer | March 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I agree with you that the positive impact of social media and online reputation varies greatly from a wide perspective across industries. The negative impact, however, seems to cut across industries, groups, companies, and people. A 5 year old FB post – or MySpace post could very well end a political bid, a career, or perhaps a company. To give an extreme example, imagine someone unearthed an email from January of 2004 where Mark Zuckerberg told a friend that he had just gotten an idea and a bunch of source code from two big rowers, and he was going to make it his own site, and his own business and was going to cut them out. (this is a purely fictional thought… but how damaging was the leaked hard drive from that time period? )

      What if someone found a 2005 MySpace post from Rielle Hunter saying that she was going to go after a presidential candidate…

      Or an internal corporate blog post from a drug company about how their drug had some side effects but they were going to sell it anyway…

      What if social media was around in 1964, and Tobacco executives posted on them… or in the ’70’s, and the designers and executives who picked the Pinto’s gas tank location wrote on them…

      I could go on and on… The negative effects of social media reputation could be devastating – personally, professionally, financially, and from a corporate and/or industry perspective. Reputation is fragile, and easily ruined. I think we are already at that point.

      Comment by JohnAkerson | March 2, 2011 | Reply

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