As this blog has garnered more users over time, there have been a couple of comment threads which have degraded a bit. Recently one was brought to my attention where a sole proprietor from one small company wrote some comments which were not well received by others. He used his real name, which is somewhat uncommon – let’s call him “SmallGuy”. Readers then replied back saying that SmallGuy was bad unreliable and a rip off.
Unfortunately for SmallGuy, this blog is more popular than his company’s web page. Google picked up the whole conversation, and a search for “SmallGuy” now brings up belshe.com above SmallGuy’s website, including “SmallGuy sucks” right in the snippet!
Obviously, SmallGuy is not too happy about this; customers searching for references on him don’t see very good stuff. And all of this is because he posted a comment using his real name on my blog, and he probably didn’t think enough about the possible long term effects of this comment before he wrote it.
Unfortunately, SmallGuy’s name is pretty unique. If it weren’t so unique, Google wouldn’t show belshe.com as a top result for his name. Everyone should remember that data that goes up on the net goes up forever. You can’t take it back once you press ‘post’ – ever. Even if I deleted the comment, its still out there in untold numbers of RSS caches, archives.org, and other places.
Those of us with unique names need to be doubly careful. On one hand, our uncommon surnames lead to better prominence on the net for those searching for us. On the other, if you say anything bad, it’s permanent and undeniable. If your name is Smith, you don’t have to worry!
As for SmallGuy’s dilemma, I offered that if he can get the poster of the negative comment to send me an email to change the comment, I will do so. That is, if he can solve his own customer issues, then he can mostly fix this.