That’s the question I’ve been asking myself for the past 72 hours (with minor rest breaks). Online Reputation Management is an industry I bought into a year ago, predicting it would grow to heights that would rival or at least compliment SEO in the realm of public awareness.

Certain experts in internet marketing and PR have been assisting individuals and corporations with reputation management for a few years now. Guys like Andy Beal, who’s been writing about ORM since his blog began. Lee Odden, is another example of a marketing professional who has combined the practices of public relations, image consulting, and search engine optimization to provide ORM.

Maybe it’s Andy Beal’s Twitter account. Maybe his blog has matured to the right status. Maybe the Interweb has finally seasoned enough users to deliver viral blow. Assign credit wherever you want; the truth of the matter is still that Andy Beal is in the right place at the right time.

Andy recently launched Trackur, a reputation monitoring program, and the timing just seems perfect. Enough people have enough problems online that a well publicized program/tool could really make a dent in the public awareness. It’s got the Web 2.0 look and feel. Andy Beal is speaking in multiple venues this year on the subject, raising awareness and educating the public on how to handle a reputation crisis (and prevent one from ever happening).

Marketing Pilgrim, Andy’s long standing blog on all things Internet marketing, has received a recent boost from Twitter networking and prize giveaways. In fact, the only thing in question now is the product itself: Trackur. Having not used it yet myself, I must reserve judgment for another day and another post. However, even if Trackur isn’t everything you’ve ever wanted, it’s brandable and it’s memorable and, like everything else these days, it can be improved and enhanced over time.

If I can get my hands on a version of Trackur that lasts more than two weeks, I’ll write up a full review. In the meantime, mind your words, and guard your rep.

10 responses to “Could Andy Beal’s Trackur be the Tipping Point for ORM?”

  1. I am too, Brett. In fact, I’m going to ask Andy Beal for access to review it. In fact, if he’s still doing the free 14 day trial, I may go ahead and try it. It’s important to get some information out there as quickly as possible.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Daniel. ORM certainly should be part of everyone’s online efforts in 2008, and I hope to continue spreading the word.

    Please do sign up for the two week trial. It’s limited to just the basic version, but you’ll get a good feel for what it can do. Email me if you have any questions about it.

  3. A friend of mine had a lot of problems last year with his online reputation, because he had left a lot of comments on various blogs (the comments were not that nice). Then he wanted to work at an internet company, but he was rejected for his online behavior.

    He then put up his own website (with his name) and pushed all good comments up the rankings. Last week he got a job at another internet company 🙂

  4. Yeah, he used his complete name. The thing I don’t like with the company, is that someone else could have used his name in the comments. It’s really weird, but now everything is alright!

  5. Geld,

    That’s a new one for me. I’ve heard of people losing opportunities because of blog posts, but not from comments. I guess he used his whole name when he posted those rude comments… That’s tough.

  6. I signed up for a Trackur account as soon as I heard about the service last week and have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. I’ll admit I didn’t spend a lot of time with it, but there was nothing the service did that could be accomplished with some specific RSS feeds pulled from specific news sources.

    I’ll be interested to read your full review.

  7. As always, Andy has managed to make a lot of noise on something that is not a lot. Compared to other reputation monitoring tools such as Reputica and Sentiment Metrics, Trackur does not even come close.

  8. Well, Andrea, he’s good at generating publicity. I have to admit that I haven’t compared Trackur to other monitoring tools at this point. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to evaluate several tools this year and compare them to each other.

  9. Keep in mind also that the best product is not always the product that most heavily influences the tipping point. Sometimes a product’s primary function in society is to generate and increase awareness. Once the public has an awareness of an issue and the possible solution, they can compare and contrast each product available.

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