Having a negative influence online

Digging the dirt

Haven’t we talked about online reputations before? We certainly have! Just the same, I sometimes worry about apparently intelligent people who probably do their businesses no good with their unfettered pronouncements on anything we care to think about.

I am all in favour of being ourselves in our blogs and when commenting on others. I think Twitter is a great medium for conversation, making connections and learning. What I do not want to know from my business contacts is their opinion on politicians, on other countries, and on celebrities, and especially using intemperate language. “Warts and all” is not a good thing in a business context.

Some such opinionated characters have large followings on Twitter. You might ask why I or others follow them if they are that bad. Why don’t we just un-follow? The truth is that there is a fascination (cliché alert) in watching a train wreck. You don’t want to watch but you can’t help it.

Quite a number of these “offenders” have high Klout or PeerIndex scores. If these were a measure of influence, I don’t think it’s going to be good influence: the sort of influence that encourages people to buy from them. Most likely it will be a deterrent to having any business dealings with them.

I guess I am letting of steam. None of these opinionated bigots who might read this would recognise themselves. How do you react to such people?

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