Neither a Jungle nor a Web

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The net is a two way street now. Say nice things about others and they’ll reciprocate.

The net is a two-way street now. Say nice things about others and they’ll reciprocate.

Your presence online is an amalgamation of what you have to say about yourself and others about you. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have a web identity that people can look up and form an initial impression about you from. Here’s how to ensure they like what they see.

While self-promotion is undoubtedly a vital part of building your brand, over-promotion is definitely not. If you’re constantly talking about yourself, not many people are going to pay much attention to you or what you’re saying. That’s why the best way to advance your personality online is to diligently and consistently promote other people. Saying complimentary things about others online is one of the easiest ways to create goodwill for oneself at a fraction of the cost and effort it takes to do so in real life.

The thing about the internet that makes it so different from any other media of communication is the blinding speed at which it disseminates information. Praise your fellow men (and women), put it out for the online community to ‘chance upon’ and before you know it (literally), all kinds of people are more than happy to scratch your proverbial back in return. Of course, like with everything else that’s too good to be true, you mustn’t overdo the ‘everybody is so great’ spiel. Speak well, often enough, of your enemies, competitors, peers, prospective associates, and anyone you think is likely to be of use to you—and they’ll be more than willing to lend you, your ideas and your ego a patient hearing. Better still, they (and people they know) will start promoting you.

Recently, a report by Microsoft revealed that a majority of HR managers think it appropriate to look up information about employees and prospective employees online. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you this is very true. While most people do not Google themselves, potential employers and clients do. What will they see when they look at your online profile? Will it be just you thumping your chest like Tarzan or others trumpeting your good qualities because you’ve done the same for them? A fine example of selfless self-promotion can be found here.