If you’ve ever wondered what people are saying about you on the web – perhaps your cyber ears are burning – then Google has come up with a solution. Almost as an evolutionary alternative to their existing Alerts service, Me on the Web has been designed to act as a one stop shop for all mentions you receive.
Therefore if someone mentions your name, number or email on their blog, you can now find out instantly. The new feature will be embedded in the Google Dashboard, and can be easily set up by any individual to provide accurate accounts of when your details are discussed.
So who will this benefit?
Well, if you’re in the public eye, either in a business or celebrity sense, it can be extremely important to know what’s being said and by who. It’s not simply an ego thing either, it can actually help you to stave off unfair criticism or scurrilous comments. Ignorance can lead to huge problems, particularly in an environment as free as the Internet. Anybody could say anything about you at any time, so having a constant watching eye over it all can be invaluable.
Of course anybody could choose to use this, but those who are more likely to have potentially controversial mentions online will probably get most out of it. Whilst you can’t do anything about criticism (as Perez Hilton apparently discovered when trying to edit search results), you can at least nip it in the bud and provide a reasonable response.
Reputation management in the age of the Internet has arguably become increasingly difficult and certainly more expensive. In the pre-digital days, if you could stop the newspapers printing a story, you could pretty much remain unscathed. As the recent kafuffle over super injunctions proved, whilst you can gag the press, it’s not always as easy to do the same to the millions of Twitter, Facebook and blog users.
So now you can do all of your personal monitoring through a simple Google tool. It may not be entirely foolproof, but should certainly weed out any obvious trends.
To find out more about this new service, visit the Google Public Policy Blog.