Open Insights 39 – Reputation Management


Issue 39 – Reputation Management

  December 1, 2007

by Sean Hull

Happy Holidays everyone, we hope you’ve enjoyed the topics in 2007.  We plan to bring even more in 2008.

It’s now the end of our third year publishing the Open Insights newsletter. We thought we’d celebrate by relaunching our popular blog Oracle + Open Source.  The design is new, there’s a lot more content, things are easier to find, and overall it is indexing great on Google, even better!

Like what you see here? Forward us to a friend. And let us know if you have any suggestions or comments. They are always welcome.

In This Issue:

1. Feature: Reputation Management

2. Conferences/Speaking

3. New Articles

4. Audio Interviews

5. Current Reading

6. Lightweight Humor

7. Miscellaneous

8. Past Issues

9. Technical Articles

10. About Heavyweight Internet Group

1. Feature: Reputation Management

Your reputation, you build your career around it, you work on your resume, hand out your business cards and conduct yourself in a professional manner.  All this to build the reputation you command in your area of expertise. 

But what about your online presense?  Typically when we think of online sites, we think of social networking, search engine optimization, and the like.  It’s all about bringing more readers to your blog, more google or yahoo searches to your website.  But online marketers are starting to liken all of this optimization as ultimately about your reputation, and they’re right.

So first let’s introduce a few new acronyms for your little noggin to remember. 

SEM – social engine marketing

SERM – search engine reputation management

SMO – social media optimization

SEO – search engine optimization

MediaPost is a pretty good blog which you can also receive as a newsletter.  They had a really good article on Search Engine Reputation Management.

Some of the recommendations are those you’re already doing, such as using Linkedin,  starting a blog, and so on.  But have you thought about linking to other sites, or commenting on blogs of other sites, strategically linking back to your own.  You can do this on blogs and forums.  Be kind and say something constructive though, don’t just try to hawk your wares or chances are the comment will be deleted.  Also really look at all of your sites and figure out if you are pushing a consistent message about your specialty, and if it’s easy to understand.  Ask people who aren’t in your field or area to review it, and give their quick opinion.

And of course practice search engine optimization techniques which although at first might seem mysterious, can certainly be learned.  My colleague Felix Sheng over on his comments blog has posted on this topic quite a bit.  Here’s an article about understanding google’s pagerank algorithm and one on how it recently changed, another on using google analytics.  In another piece he talks about a firefox plugin called YSlow and another on google’s supplemental index ratio.  Quite a mouthful, but I assure you once you get reading it’ll fall into place.   

Want to get more insight?  Just google yourself by typing your full name into google to see what comes up.  Then I’d recommend checking out how the experts show up.  I follow Keith Ferrazzi, Seth Godin, and Steve Rubel quite a bit.  Go ahead and google them, and you’ll see their books come up, their blogs, and all their online "properties" which push their brands.  Haven’t written a book, well I suggest you get to work!  Haven’t given a lecture, that’s next on your list then.

You should also make ample use of social bookmarking sites like,, stumbleupon and technorati.  By adding these widgets to the bottom of your blog posts, you allow your readers to tell the world they liked your stuff.  This process feeds back on itself, and builds your traffic as more readers find out about you and your ideas.

It’s all a slow process, so don’t expect to get it all at once.  But if you take some of these suggestions and apply them, little by little you’ll build up a following.  Happy Holidays, and happy optimizing!

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2. Conferences/Speaking Engagements

Last April was the Collaborate 2007 conference in Las Vegas Nevada. I ended up giving two talks, one on Monday, and one on Tuesday. I’ve uploaded video of both of them.

In other news, we’ve submitted a series of five abstracts to the IOUG Collaborate 2008 Conference and another five to the O’Reilly MySQL Conference in April 2008.  You can find them on our relaunched Oracle  + Open Source site by clicking "abstract", or by following this link.

3. New Articles

Eight Ways to Hack Oracle – Part I

Oracle, MySQL and Postgres – Feature Comparison Part I

Oracle, MySQL and Postgres – Feature Comparison Part II

Open Source Technologies for Oracle DBAs Part I

Open Source Technologies for Oracle DBAs Part II

4. Audio Interviews

In our most recent interview we had the opportunity to talk with Norman Yamada CTO of Millburn Corporation.

Norman shares with us his experiences providing world-class computing solutions, and the pros and cons of doing it with open source.

We’ve also moved our podcast to Odeo for Audio Podcast hosting. It is a great service, and provides all the RSS and subscribe links automatically. So please subscribe if you haven’t already!

5. Current Reading

Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank Luntz

Luntz has been writing copy, and working as a proverbial "spin doctor" for politicians of all stripes. But after you dig into his book, you begin to really appreciate the different perspectives of people, and how very important the words you choose can often be. Whatever your position, and whatever your need to communicate with other people may be, this book is surely for you. His writing style is very down-to-earth, with lots of stories, and anecdotes to keep you turning the pages. Highly recommended.

Managing IT as a Business by Mark Lutchen

Mr. Lutchen spent years as CIO PricewaterhouseCoopers. So when he speaks about IT it’s from real-world experience. IT in most organizations has been a support function and a cost center. In common terms that means it is effectively a necessary evil, providing services so the business can thrive. By this arrangement CIOs typically are not directly involved in decision making, and make budget requests to build and extend infrastructure. But this traditional model is short sighted, and leads to various recurring problems. Bringing the CIO to the decision making table requires both courage on the part of existing leadership, and the CIO technologist to step up to the plate, with business vision, and an ability to communicate in commonsense language. Beyond the buzzwords and business-speak, this is quite a good read.

6. Lightweight Humor

A little inane humor to brighten up your day…

Google Announces Plan To Destroy All Information It Can’t Index.  It doesn’t get much better than that! 

7. Miscellaneous

We all want to optimize our sites for Google.  I mean other than a select few, that’s where most of our traffic comes from, so the more our site plays well with Google, the more users, readers, customers, and clients will find their way to us.

Most of the SEO material I’ve read has been pretty sparse, and unclear.  But I’ve been following the topic over at my good Felix’s #comments blog, and I’m starting to get it.  So you can too!  Take a read: Google loves me, again!

If you haven’t been following the news on the topic, take a look over at this NY Times piece: Silicon Valley Start-Ups Awash in Dollars, Again.  Personally I don’t think there is much hysteria this time around, sure there’s some, but not much.  The industry is more mature now, and computers in general have lost their initial wow factor, so people are general more sober, and able to step back and see what is actually useful, can make money, is making money, or might well make money.  That’s the root of investing smart.

8. Past Issues

Issue 38: Are You Fast Failing

Issue 37: A Real Open Book

Issue 36: Rarity of Excellence

Issue 34: Hindsight Is Always 20/20

Issue 33: Market For Experts

Issue 32: Different Heritages

Archive: Past Issues

9. Technical Articles

Oracle DBA Interview: click here

Tools for the Intrepid DBA: click here

Oracle9i + RAC on Linux/Firewire: click here

Migrating MySQL to Oracle: click here

MySQL Disaster Recovery: click here

10. About Heavyweight Internet Group

In a nutshell, Oracle. Everything related to and surrounding the database technology we specialize in, but specifically setup, admin and tuning of Oracle technology. I have 10 years experience with Oracle, wrote a book on the technology, and write and lecture frequently. I’m founder and senior consultant of the company. In capacities where your company might hire Deloitte, AIG, or Oracle Consulting we can bring the same level of service and experience, at about half the price. Simple equation.

Looking for a top-flight DBA? Visit us on the web at