The new web with its social media is great but it also means you need to be careful of what you do.

I found this article on MSNBC.com today about MySpace and an “innocent” photo put online.

The article I really like is by Todd Mintz, Online Reputation Management Begins Offline.  It relates the story about how the bad behavior of a local restaurant owner made it online and really hurt his reputation. As a consumer myself, I love it; the “little guy” now has a way to get back (in a way) when having to deal with someone who is a real pain in the neck.  Personally, when I go out to a restaurant, if either the service or food are lacking, I usually let someone know about it, nicely.  Why? Because I am paying for the service and food so I expect them to be up to par.

Now what happens when someone has an ax to grind and really decides to go after someone, online? Right now, not much. This is why many companies are starting to provide “reputation management”. Basically they set up a system to look for comments about your business online and then give you a chance to deal with or refute the bad ones. This is just starting so we will see how it goes.

The moral of the story though is, keep an eye on what you do and say because it might end up online some day.