Mike Arrington has a timely post up today titled Reputation Is Dead: It's Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions. He says:
Trying to control, or even manage, your online reputation is becoming
increasingly difficult. And much like the fight by big labels against
the illegal sharing of music, it will soon become pointless to even try.
It's a good post and a really good discussion to be having right now. Go read the post.
I agree that controlling your online reputation is becoming increasingly difficult. But I do not think it is pointless. Reputation is everything and there is a way to fight back. I talked about it in a post a few weeks ago called Own Your Online Brand.
I care deeply about my reputation and have defended it vigorously when others have said things about me that are untrue. But you can go one step further with social media. You can establish your reputation and others will stand up for you as well.
This person fnid2 has an axe to grind about me and has been doing it frequently at Hacker News. You'll see that Mark Essel, an active member of this community, took the time to come to my defense.
So while I agree 100% with Mike that defending your reputation is getting increasingly difficult because of social media, I also believe that social media is the key to defending it and maintaining it. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, read the Own Your Online Brand post where I explain in more detail.