Are Online Reputations Really Dead? Should We Just Ignore Indiscretions?

I read an article yesterday  from Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch,  in which he challenges the validity of online reputations. In his opinion he feels that in a few years online reputations will not mean a thing and indiscretions will be ignored. He is basing his opinion on a new startup service which will publish the good, the bad and the ugly about you personally for the world to see. He does not state the name of the service but does say that anyone will be able to post anonymously without fear of legal or social fallout.

My first thoughts were two fold. First I personally believe that our online reputations do matter. Hopefully many of you who read this will feel the same way. I have seen comments made here that because of their vivid language and/or attacks to other readers were not fit to post and were junked by myself. I believe these types of comments would reflect on my reputation because someone could look at these comments as something I either agree with or approve of.

My second thought was about the posting of indiscretions. Arrington goes on to say in his article that those who have a picture of them smoking pot will in a few years not matter much. He is at least hoping this will be true. But who decides what is right and what is wrong? This is where I believe that reputation does matter and so do the indiscretions that happen to get posted.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Buffet

    What matters is how “courageous”, judgemental, and denegrating so many folks are online. I image it would be nothing short of staggering how many of them would wither face to face. Whether online, or in person, the goal for all of us should be collaberation and sharing, of thoughts, ideas, and even opinions. Nothing wrong with a rousing debate, here and there, but, in the end, courtesy and cooperation will always yield the best results.

    • Ron Schenone

      Exactly. Well said.

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  • shadowmyth

    Really it comes down to your own personal value system, and whose opinions you personally care about. If you live your life amidst the corporate, governmental world, and depend on that world, then yeah, you probably shouldn’t be posting your private information on the web.
    In my own life I have friends from every walk of life, and I am open, honest, and upfront, about just about everything I am and do. Oddly enough, this has not dissuaded any of these people from hanging out with me and doing business with me, regardless of their belief systems, income bracket, etc.
    The fact that I am so honest and open has given these people reason to feel at ease with me, knowing that despite our differences, I am honest and have integrity. This truth isn’t online, it is right out front and in person, so I of course live my life the same online. If people cannot handle what I am, then why would I care about what they have to think/say about me anyway?
    I have lived with a philosophy throughout my life that if you are blatantly what you are, you will attract what you are. This hasn’t always been true, as I tend to attract people from every walk of life, however I do have higher odds of drawing to me people I have things in common with. If you dress conservatively, act conservatively, you are going to draw to you conservative friends.
    If you dress creatively, think creatively, and share with others a creative life, you are going to draw to you a more creative and often artistic crowd. This is just the way of life, and we should just be what we are. This is why I support secession, because if people are truly intolerant of other people and are going to judge others to a harsh degree based on their own value systems, then they need to go move somewhere they do not need to deal with or interfere with the lives of those they do not agree with.
    If you live in Utah for example, and you are pagan, punk, or some other group that is not in harmony with Mormon values, then you are just asking for trouble in the very act of existing and living there.
    If people are really so intolerant of other ways of thinking and being, that they feel they must impose their reality on those they disagree with, it is not my problem they have control issues. I am certainly not going to alter my lifestyle to make them feel better about themselves or help them validate their belief system through my compliance.

    • Ron Schenone

      Hello shawdowmyth,
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your philosophy with us.

  • Buffet

    Never been to Utah, but if those morons want a brawl, I’ll give it to ’em! LMAO.

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