Your Digital Reputation Precedes You


BLOG Happens on Campus

So did you get a chance to read the book penned by Erik Qualman? Did you consider your digital reputation? Did you consider your digital footprints? Unlike footprints in the sand, footprints in social media are not easily washed away.

Okay – so social media is not all bad. We completely agree with it having a useful purpose. Social media connects people. Some may argue that it may not do so in a completely authentic way, but it does connect nonetheless. And we all know how important it is to make connections with others in your field.

In the book What Happens on Campus Stays on Youtube author Erik Qualman shares 36 rules of “digital reputation.” Below we share a few of these rules from our perspective:

A few sweet-smelling petals for us two nutty professors using social media:

1 – Going public can make you stay accountable. This is so true. Last year when we did the low to no sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and salt challenge (SACS Challenge) and we went and told all of you about it via this blog – man oh man, did we stick to the plan knowing you were keeping track of us. Okay – so maybe you weren’t really keeping track or perhaps didn’t even care, but because we went public with the goal, we were motivated to stick to the plan.

2 – Networking before networking. Social media provides a platform to connect with the stars – the stars of our profession. And just a few years ago (plus a few more), this networking opportunity was simply not feasible before social media seduced us. Now, we’ve matured in this social media life and are presenting a break-out session at the ASCD conference in Atlanta, GA on this specific topic. Join us for our session on April 2 from 3 – 4 p.m. entitled Oh the People You’ll Meet if Only You’ll Tweet (shameless plug 🙂 ).


3 – Post it forward. If there is a feel-good tweet or blog that helps bring sunshine to our day, share it. Whether it be a quote, a comment from another educator, or maybe something we’ve posted. PLEASE share! Sunshine always warms the soul!

Along with the beautiful rose comes the thorns… it is true with social media as well. Be aware:

1 – An online presence is not free from consequence just because we are unseen. The virtual world can be confusing as we post from behind the screen. We need to remember and remind our students, family, and friends that the screen is invisible and permanent. Think twice before we post – would we be proud to share our recent posts with our grandmother? Tweet, Snapchat, whatever like our Grandma is watching.

2 – Admit your flaws. We are full of them. Those errors that we hate to fess up to but really need to. Admit your errors. Admit we are NOT perfect. Admit to failures. When we share we are full of flaws, everyone seems to respect us more. Like when we might have failed at any challenges and then turned it around and succeeded.

3 – Freedom of choice has no freedom from consequences. Our online presence can greatly impact our life. We may lose our privacy, BUT we still have the freedom of choosing right from wrong. Always remember that these choices may determine whether we are hired or fired, promoted or demoted, respected or shunned.

Please don’t let the negative get you down, however. Remember to focus on the positive and make connections that count and can be remembered. And as Erik so perfectly penned it, “preserve your most important asset, your reputation!”
Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.


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