Aesop Teaches Reputation Management : The Ass And His Purchaser

We're all strangers until friended onlineLearning From Aesop

There’s an Aesop fable called The Ass And His Purchaser.

The story goes like this.

A man wants to buy a donkey but, before committing to the purchase, he tells the donkey’s seller that he wants to first “test” the animal in the field. The seller agrees and the man brings the donkey to his home, where it’s let loose to roam with the other donkeys.

After a few minutes, the new donkey strays from the pack and saddles up next to the laziest, fattest donkey of them all. That was all the man needed to see.

When the man goes to return the donkey, the seller asked how he could have tested the donkey so quickly. The man replies that he didn’t have to. He knew the donkey would be just like the one he chose to be his friend.

Aesop’s moral: “You are the company you keep.”

Minding Your Wall, Your Connections, And Your Stream

In the digital wall, your black book is an open book.

Your Facebook profile billboards your friends to the world; on LinkedIn, your complete list of contacts is one click away; on Twitter, your follows and retweets are shown in your stream.

Your associations are in plain view and, like the donkey, you’re being judged by the company you keep. It’s why you should give special care to your online networks, and who you include in them. You’re a stranger online until you’re friended or followed.

Until then, nobody knows you from Adam.

Group Blogging : An Exercise In Trust

The moral is especially relevant with respect to group blogs.

The basic premise of a group blog is that the sum of the authors’ words are greater than each individual’s posts. Writers from different backgrounds join forces to produce content on a single, common-themed website.

Writing for a group blog can be wonderful for your business. A group blog bestows its reputation on each of its respective writers.  Participating on a top-notch blog can propel your career forward. Or, it can shove you in reverse. It’s why you should carefully review a group blog’s writer roster before signing on.

Decide if these are the asses with whom you want to be associated.

Build Your Online Posse With Care

Take care of your online self, and your online self will take care of you.

As Aesop teaches us, we inherit labels faster than we earn them. And, once that label is assigned, it sticks. It brings to mind another expression to mind: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Online, make yours count. Choose your friends wisely.

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