What happens on the web stays on the web, or not?

There have been many cases of people who put something onto the web thinking that no one would find it, only to find that it comes back to haunt them. When you tweet, blog, add comments and write in other sites those words can be seen by more people than you think.

Many years ago it was email, someone would send a private email and the recipient would forward on, and it would be forwarded on etc until it went around the world. Now people write short comments, or long blogs that is attached to their name.

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If you are in business your online profile can affect your business. What would someone get if they did a google search on your name? Some people realise this and have several accounts, for different reasons, for example a personal twitter account v a business twitter one. But if they both have the same name attached to them what happens when someone googles the person? There are quite a few graduates who are finding that work is harder to find then they thought not because they are not qualified, but because more and more companies are doing online searches before calling in for interviews. Are clients doing the same?

I have had many a client who was recommended to me, but before they contacted me they googled. Some read my blogs, others just read the pages that came up to see what was said. When they do contact me they tell me that they have read my blogs and how they have helped them. For anyone who is a business person or professional it is becoming more and more important to always assume that anything you put on the web will be read by the world and out of context.

I am not just talking about writing about getting drunk and naughty acts at work or home but negative comments about others can come back to haunt you. Next time you type a message, post, article, comment, remember that your words may come back to haunt you. The written word has been around for thousands of years, but people used to be careful about what they wrote, because it is easy to type a few words and press send or publish it is easy to put something in words that you probably would not say face to face.

As a business person you have to be doubly careful. If clients stumble upon something that you have written that puts you in a light that is not professional what would they do? Guess it depends on what is out there. Quite a few graduates are finding that jobs are harder to come by because recruitment agencies are doing social media searches before putting CV’s forward, if they are finding it more difficult, then the business owner should ensure that everything they write they would put on a banner on the main road into their home town.


Written by Katherine Davison

Katherine Davison

Katherine has been a corporate training consultant for over 10 years and had her own business since 2001.

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