The Quality of a Real-Life Reputation 1

When I first started using the Internet, it was common knowledge that you never used your real name. I don’t know how common it was, but I was frightened by the mostly over-exaggerated stories of unwelcome attention people received when they dropped their real information on chat rooms and forums.

My aversion to posting real information persisted into adulthood. Despite the fact that I worked in online marketing, I avoided public profiles and public posts with my actual name. The result of anonymity was a lower standard of quality. While there is some high-quality content out there attributed to made-up people, the vast majority of it is really bad. ReviewRelay was originally launched without author names attached to any of the reviews.

As time went on, I decided that an online reputation was more important than my concern for privacy. I was coaxed along by Google, who seemed to be giving weight to real people and influential authors. As someone who makes a living in search engine optimization, I would know. I began – very reluctantly – writing content with my real name attached.

Seeing my own name had a profound impact on me . Those two words are how I am known and remembered in the minds of my friends, family, and everyone I have ever cared about. I found myself obsessing over the content, and taking criticism to heart. And a strange (yet not entirely surprising) thing has happened – the quality of my posts has improved, as have my writing skills. Simply attaching my name to a thing created an unavoidable investment equal to my own concern for my reputation.

I have decided to force myself to make the content on ReviewRelay better. I have attached my name to every single review. To me, this will be a powerful motivator in the upcoming weeks and months to make this site better and invest in it. There’s no doubt that I’m not a web designer, but hopefully I can make things look a little better. I hope you, my unnamed visitors, will enjoy reading the reviews as I revise them and add new reviews.

One comment on “The Quality of a Real-Life Reputation

  1. Jeff P. Mar 9, 2012 3:49 am

    Hi Carson!

    This was a surprisingly insightful and introspective post for a review site! =) For what it’s worth, I think your reviews here are great, but if adding your name makes them better then I can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with next.

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