Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Sept. 14, 2012

Benni Cinkle on Building a Positive Reputation Online

Founder, That Girl in Pink Foundation

Not so long ago, PfG reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in writing a post about how I’ve been able to build a positive reputation online. And while I was honored that they asked, I admit that it took me a few minutes to figure out what it is that I would write!

I guess that’s because who I am online is pretty much who I am in the “real” world, too.
So when I sat down to write this post, it became really clear to me that it’s pretty easy to build a positive reputation online when you treat everything they do — from posting pictures and updates, to responding to the things that people say about you, good and bad — as if there wasn’t a computer and Internet connection separating you from the rest of the world.

If you’re looking to build a good rep online, here are three tips that will make it simple for you to get started:

  1. Remember the Golden Rule. “Treat others as you want them to treat you” is something I always try to live by, especially when I’m online. And I think people tend to notice it more with me because there’s a lot of other people who will pretty much say or do anything online because they feel anonymous. But whether they’re spoken out loud or typed in a text, words have incredible power to lift someone up or tear them down. Choosing to treat others online the way you want to be treated sets a great tone for your life on the Internet, and can contribute to a positive reputation.
  2. Leave the Internet a nicer place than when you found it. Thanks to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and Instragram, people are more connected than ever before to others that they would probably never meet otherwise. Making a friend online by leaving a positive comment on a picture of someone you don’t know or even just hitting the “Like” button to show them some love is an easy and quick way to lift someone’s spirits — and it may even change the course of a conversation when people are hating on each other. And the more others see you interacting in a way that is supportive of the online community, the more they will come to respect you.
  3. Use your power for good. I don’t know about you, but I love the fact that my social networks put me in touch with people from all over the world. Because of this, I know that I have the chance to shake things up in a way that wasn’t possible when my parents were growing up. Whatever you’re passionate about, you can use your networks in the same way to be a force for good and to change the world. And when others see you fundraising for a good cause, or raising awareness for something you believe in, chances are good that they’ll want to support you however they can.

If you’re looking to build a positive reputation online, try out these three tips for the next 30 days and see what happens. Promise yourself you’ll only say nice things. Go out of your way to make a new friend. And use your networks to do good. As you do, others who like what you’re doing will find their way to you, and your (positive) influence will continue to grow.