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Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier

Wild West 2.0: How to Protect and Restore Your Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier

by Michael Fertik, David Thompson

The Internet is like the Old West—a frontier rich with opportunity and hope, but also a rough-and-tumble land of questionable characters, dubious legal jurisdictions, and hidden dangers. And just like the Old West, if you want to stake out your territory, you have to get there first and fend for yourself.

On the web, that means defending your good name and


The Internet is like the Old West—a frontier rich with opportunity and hope, but also a rough-and-tumble land of questionable characters, dubious legal jurisdictions, and hidden dangers. And just like the Old West, if you want to stake out your territory, you have to get there first and fend for yourself.

On the web, that means defending your good name and reputation before the attacks start. Because, despite the excellent product or service you provide, all it takes is one unhappy customer, jealous acquaintance, or unsavory competitor to start the rumors flying. Before you know it, search engines are regenerating that negative publicity every time someone researches you or your business.

Wild West 2.0 offers simple yet extraordinarily powerful ways to:

Proactively protect your online reputation • Determine the extent of reputation damage and identify its original source • Offset even the most savage attacks—and get the truth out there • Control how search engines rank and display results about your business and your name • Create positive Internet content and buzz that become “word-of-mouse” marketing

In the age of Wild West 2.0, everyone has an online reputation. Who do you want to create yours?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fertik and Thompson, respectively CEO and chief privacy officer at ReputationDefender, tackle online defamation, which can cause a company significant damage with only a few mouse clicks. The good news is that if you are prepared, you can defend your company and make sure that its online image is a true reflection of reality. Likening the Internet to the new frontier of the American Wild West, the authors explore the challenges of being in a world that is instant, permanent, and anonymous. They provide valuable insight into the quandary of “Google Truth,” why people attack each other online, and the different types of Internet attacks. Of particular usefulness are the chapters on how to measure this type of damage, including how to do an online reputation audit. They stress the benefits of a proactive defense and show how to recover after the damage has been done. Full of invaluable information that readers will be very grateful to have when they need it, this book explains the rules and provides the tools for overcoming online attacks and regaining a positive reputation. (June)
From the Publisher
“…great for anyone interested in having a personal or business presence on the Internet and…in the sociological impacts of web 2.0.” —Library Journal

“Who knew that a business book could be scarier than any horror novel?...this book is a must-read.” —The Bookworm Sez

“The coverage here is broad and certainly will inform most readers on topics and areas of concern that they had heretofore not likely considered…Be warned.” — Blog on Books

“… worthwhile addition to the online marketing library and a solid reference if one's...good name and reputation are already under attack.” —Miami Herald

“…online reputation can be damaged in a matter of seconds…book teaches you how to fix it, if it gets out of control…highly recommend this one to anyone in marketing...” —Geek Girl Reviews.com

“…much needed and necessary resource to combat the ever-increasing online damage to professional and personal reputations.” —Suite101.com

“…comprehensive look at a complex subject...a great reminder of why it's important that while we embrace new media, we recognize its perils as well.” —Ad Pulp.com

“..offer insights into maintaining online anonymity, the tactics of online attackers, how to avoid harassment and how to conduct an online reputation audit." —Houston Business Journal

“…information provided in this brilliant book can spell the difference between a lost reputation, and a positive image...essential and seminal book on online reputation management.” —Blog Business World

"...important new book…savvy, well-researched guide…loaded with useful defense moves.” —Joyce Lain Kennedy, nationally syndicated columnist

“…excellent job of pointing out how and why the world-wide web is in many ways like the American Old West…good place to start to protect yourself and your livelihood.” —Inland Empire Business Journal

“…information in the book is well thought out and will…help you maintain your reputation…if you are worried about your online reputation, this book will help you maintain or repair it.” —Online magazine

"...authors’ enthusiasm for remedying the harm done to reputations by malicious, intentional lies comes through on every page.” —Security Management

ForeWord Book of the Year Bronze Winner Business & Economics Category 2011

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

C H A P T E R 1

Welcome to the New Digital Frontier

Imagine a place where anonymous vandals can spray repugnant

graffiti about you or your business without any consequence. They

may call you a criminal, accuse your business of fraud, or reveal your

most personal secrets. And this graffiti is viewed not only by a handful

of passersby—instead, it is spread worldwide and instantly broadcast

to anyone who looks for information about you. You can’t remove

the smear, and copies of it are permanently saved around the world.

Sound frightening? You don’t have to imagine this scenario. It

happens every day on the Internet. The victims are innocent people—

parents, teachers, students, managers, workers, craftsmen, business

owners, and more. Real personal reputations are being trashed

with just a few mouse clicks, real businesses are losing thousands of

customers due to false reports online, and real relationships are being

destroyed by anonymous gossip.

Welcome to the New Digital Frontier

The Internet has changed the rules for reputation. Once, reputation

was hard-earned and carefully guarded. Today, your reputation

can be created or destroyed in just a few clicks. And there are

plenty of people who seek to destroy your reputation: bullies, people

jealous of your success, competitors for jobs or customers (or even

loves), and gangs of disaffected teenagers. The Internet gives them

the power to permanently scar your reputation. They harness the

power of Google™ and the Web to broadcast false and distorted information

about you and your business to your closest friends and

most distant customers. They can manipulate your photos, steal your

secrets, and ruin your credit. If you are prepared, you can defend

yourself from these attacks. But if you aren’t careful, you can just

make matters worse by fanning the flames.

Don’t even think of ignoring the Internet’s impact on your reputation.

The Internet is not some passing fad; it is here to stay. It is the

primary source of information about people, products, services, and

companies. Even if you don’t use the Internet, your boss, your customers,

your neighbors, your friends, and your family do. What they

find online will shape how they think about you, for better or worse:

they could find slanderous allegations or shocking photos posted by

a digital Peeping Tom; your business might be the subject of an online

boycott or an urban legend about your business might spread

through social discussion sites; or your relationships might be poisoned

by false gossip. The worst part is that once false information

about you is spread online, it can start a self-sustaining cycle that

spreads it further and faster than you thought possible.

Luckily, the well prepared can still prosper on this new digital

frontier. The Internet is not something to be afraid of; instead, it is

a tremendous opportunity to shape the way that people see you or

your business. Careful monitoring of your online reputation (or that

of your business) combined with delicate intervention can help you

make sure that your online image is a true reflection of reality. Often,

by acting quickly you can stop online attacks and set the record

straight. And careful seeding of positive truthful content will help

you improve your social standing, get more clients, or grow your

business. Thanks to the Internet, you have the chance to take direct

control of the way people see you.

This book will teach you what you need to know to prosper in

the new Wild West of online reputation. It will explain the rules of

the new digital frontier, teach you to measure and analyze your reputation,

and then give you the tools you need to defend yourself

from online reputation attack. It will also explain special considerations

and tactics for small businesses and professionals. In short,

not all hope is lost: by learning the tricks of online reputation, you

can defend—or even improve—your online image.

Meet the Author

MICHAEL FERTIK (Redwood City, CA) is the founder and CEO of ReputationDefender, the world’s first comprehensive online reputation management and privacy company with customers in over 40 countries. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Michael serves on the advisory board of The Internet Keep Safe Coalition. He has appeared on "Dr. Phil", "The Today Show", "Good Morning America", "The CBS Early Show", "20/20", and "Fox Business", and been featured in publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Investor’s Business Daily, and The Wall Street Journal.

DAVID THOMPSON (Los Angeles, CA) is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of ReputationDefender.

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