Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Some Urban Legends won't go away -- like this one. Fortunately, it is not serious, and it has hardly dented Bill Gates' reputation. Others, however, have cost companies and individuals. With the internet, it is easier to spot who is passing on erroneus information, but, on the other hand, the speed of dissemination is faster and farther. Urban Legends are one more reason why monitoring the internet is essential and rapid response to wrong information a key part to defending reputations. One needn't go as far as Barack Obama, but it is important to get web pages such as Snopes alerted to rumors and innuendo. It is also important in forums and discussion pages to intervene with correct information. Some companies do this well. Others don't. Those who don't fail to understand the economic and reputational cost of allowing rumors to run wild.