Work bloggers beware

Today I was tipped off about a company called RepuTrace that is in the business of offering a service to businesses based on the following statement:

"Should you suspect an unsatisfied customer is spreading malcontent about your company, use CoreX to zero in on Web-based discussion forums. You can even monitor developments within your workforce in the event you have difficulties with disgruntled employees or just want to ensure your personnel are generally happy at work."

RepuTrace also claims to be able to:

a) Find out what people are saying on blogs and chatrooms about a particular company or developments affecting a particular industry.

b) Search all forms of consumer conversation connected with a company, product or brand to ensure it is perceived as desired.

c) Track media outlets of all sizes and kinds to monitor specific news and information to give you a unique, global perspective.

The main motto of RepuTrace appears to be, "Find any bad news before it finds you".

I sense this is only the beginning of private businesses being set up to trawl the Internet on behalf of large companies looking for any potentially "damaging" statement or campaign. Governments have probably been doing this for years.

Thanks to Confined Space and Hazards for the story.

31 comments:

John said...

Heh! it's a pretty wussy fightback though. They say they'll 'swoop down to grab' blog posts, but all they're doing by the look of it is a glorified search (like bigger brand management firms, but just with the blog buzzword), and then the company has to do the unpleasant work of 'grabbing' themselves.
Much better maybe for a company to be upfront and properly communicate a blogging/conduct policy to all staff than to go round sneakily, trying to catch people at a crime they didn't know existed and could have avoided.
Wonder why they don't advertise it as being more positive? eg: find out where you're being discussed so you can engage with the debate, rather than closing it down. Maybe they've just identified a profitable market for themselves amongst macho and paranoid SME owners!

Steven Rothberg said...

They probably chose the negative angle because fear is a powerful motivator.

Another tool that is often used, including by my company, is Google News Alerts. We receive emails each day with links to and summaries of new stories and web pages that have been created that link or refer to CollegeRecruiter.com or any of our key employees. Google News Alerts is free and works quite well. Not perfect, but pretty close.

Spike said...

They probably chose the negative angle because fear is a powerful motivator.

Damn straight.

Google News Alerts is free and works quite well. Not perfect, but pretty close.


I'd bet a stack of cash that's all they're using.

James said...

I share each of your sentiments. It really doesn't seem to be much more than opportunism, but plenty businesses get by on that!

James said...

A got a quick email from RepuTrace as a response to my posting and the ensuing comments. (I should have seen that one coming!!).

I won't reproduce the message, but what I will put on the record is how RepuTrace believe their service goes beyond Google News and is more about helping companies head off problems that could escalate much further.

I still, however, believe RepuTrace, in how they market themselves, imply blogging and other forms of communicating through the Internet is a bad thing and out of control.

Spike said...

"Trace the venom", "menacing blogger"?

Gads.

Porgie Tirebiter, Royce Penstinger and Pinto Bean said...

They started tracking my blog,http://greennuclearbutterfly.blogspot.com/ a few days ago...guess they do not like my views on the nuclear industry, and the NRC...wondering how long I have before jack booted thugs kick down my door and demand my laptop.

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