Your Reputation: Create a Permalink

What do you think of my new "About Me" idea? — rather than link to a bio page, I’m directing folks to my LinkedIn profile. Why? To integrate my "dual lives."

I run a PR firm; that is my professional life — after my family, the agency is my true passion: our work, our staff, our clients, are the lifeblood of my reputation.

I am also a blogger. It is my hobby. In addition to meeting scores of interesting people, the simple act of capturing and communicating some of my business/PR philosophies in a public forum (and trying to be consistently relevant & interesting, to boot) has reinvigorated my interest in the trade.

While the agency is my "professional persona," this blog is my "true voice." They complement one another; both are important; both impact my professional reputation … but they aren’t always meant to be mixed.

I don’t think I am the only blogger to wonder about this gray area: I see a need for a place to tell my "total" story; a place online that can integrate all the diverse fragments of my work, the sum of which = my professional reputation.

I think LinkedIn is a good spot for that: it allows people to provide their employment history, with endorsements from colleagues about their work across each career milestone. It provides for web and blog links. It gives folks a sense for how "well-connected" you are, i.e., how much time you invest in the important work of relationship-building.

You could do something similar with a Squidoo lens, but, Squidoo is not known as a place for professional advancement; it’s more jack-of-all-trades. Meanwhile, critically, LinkedIn allows you to create and cultivate business relationships with friends and friends-of-friends, if you put the time in to building and nurturing your connections. (It would be great if you could combine the customization options of Squidoo with the professionalism and networking functions of LinkedIn!)

The LinkedIn profile could be like a permalink for your career. That idea won’t work for all bloggers, but I can’t think of why it would be a bad thing for a PR blogger.

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Posted on: August 25, 2006 at 3:10 am By Todd Defren
8 Responses to “Your Reputation: Create a Permalink”


  • Tom Drugan says:

    Hi Todd,
    Outside of Rapleaf which was mentioned above, there are other profile management sites out there trying to solve this problem. and [disclaimer: I work for this company] allows for people to add links to all of their online personas (blogs, social networking profiles, photos, published articles, etc) and then get search engine placement for your name. We feel that there is absolutely a need for these types of product given how fragmented and inaccurate search engine results are for someone’s name. For individuals who are in the services industry (real estate agents, doctors, attorneys, etc) your name is essentially your brand and it’s becoming increasingly important to manage your online rep.
    Tom Drugan

  • The concept of having one place where people can track you down, no matter what perpendicular angles your career might take you down, is a great one.

    As for LinkedIn, it is a decent tool. I think the ability to present yourself in terms of your skills, experience and accomplishments rather than a chronological list of jobs would make it more relevant to the way people describe themselves these days.

  • I think you’re right — Linked In is a great model for the “reputation economy” and it adds value by operating under a two tier — free and paid — model. I know more than a few people for whom Linked In is a major lead generator for new business, as well as a digital portfolio.

  • david weiner says:

    I think ‘the idea’ of LinkedIn is clever and very relevant in the current environment. HOWEVER, their business model is counterintuitive. Also, their upgrade options seem incredibly arbitrary and value-less. This is one of those things that should be free. The sooner they do that, the sooner their traffic explodes. The later they do that, the sooner someone else does it better and freer.

  • Kami Huyse says:

    Todd; I am really starting to get into the LinkedIn space, thanks to you spelling out to me the benefits. I have also met up with a few old friends that I haven’t communicated with in awhile. So, overall it has been a good experience.

  • Todd Defren says:

    Michael – Congrats on your new job! Ya shoulda’ contacted me for an interview, though, dude. The weather in SF and even Boston is better than in Memphis (just listed as one of the nation’s “angriest” cities)! Anyway, feel free to invite me to your NEW LinkedIn network.

    Marc – that’s a good idea, too (about the sig file). And I will be sure to check out Rapleaf soon.

  • Marc Nathan says:

    I’ve started to put my LinkedIn profile on my email signature for this same reason. You should probably check out RapLeaf, for what they are doing in the reputation space.

  • Hi Todd,

    I too like the idea of LinkedIn. I say “the idea” because I have not completed setting up my profile and have not actually used the service.

    I think that LinkedIn, just like blogging, can be a remarkable tool for young professionals. Anything that can spread the positive word about you as an individual is definitely not a bad thing!

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