By Steve Outing
Do you ego surf? You really should; there’s no shame in it, and it’s not about vanity. You should know what people are writing and saying about you online — especially bloggers — so that you can respond as necessary and appropriate.
I was reminded of the value in ego surfing when I received an audio e-mail (I guess you’d call it a Web voicemail) from MyChingo.com‘s Michael Bailey. He had noticed a blog item I’d written about MyChingo, and responded (using the company’s audio system rather than writing a traditional text e-mail) to my suggestions about and criticisms of his fledgling service.
That’s smart. When bloggers write about you or your company, you should know about it. That’s simple enough to do with blog-tracking services like Technorati and news-tracking services like Google News and Topix.net.
I’d caution you NOT to get defensive. Responding can be a good thing, but if all you’re going to do is blast back, don’t even bother becoming engaged. Use the opportunity to put yourself or your company in a good light by being gracious, and setting the record straight if there’s misinformation involved.
Bloggers may be talking about you. Make sure you’re aware of it and react accordingly.