Posted April 20, 2007 11:52 am by with 9 comments

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If you care about your company brand, you should already know that it is vital to monitor the web to determine what is being said about you and catch any potential reputation crisis early.

Up until now, monitoring your own reputation meant either using a reputation management firm or perhaps setting up your own series of alerts and feeds. The do-it-yourself approach just became a little easier thanks to Distilled’s Reputation Monitor.

Distilled is a former consulting client of mine, and they’ve developed Reputation Monitor to help businesses track what is being said about them, without having to trawl through multiple feeds each day. One of the additional strengths of Reputation Monitor is its ability to filter out duplication, focus in on particular keywords or URLs that truly relate to your company, and also assign a value to help you understand the likelihood the item is actually about your company.

[“5” indicates a strong likelihood the post is about you, a “2” means not so much]

I spoke to Distilled’s Will Critchlow about the driving force behind Reputation Monitor.

“Our goal with reputation monitor was to reduce the amount of time needed for someone to monitor their reputation whilst improving the process. We monitor a load of rss feeds on your behalf and remove duplicates. More importantly, we aim to determine whether a post is actually about you. We then publish the posts actually about you in one feed. Rather than monitoring 20 feeds where most posts aren’t about you, reputation monitor allows you to monitor one feed where most posts are about you.”

I’ve been testing Reputation Monitor alongside my normal tracking and I’m impressed with what it offers. Unlike other services, you can subscribe to an RSS feed from Reputation Monitor and tell it to only push items that have a high likelihood of being about you. This cuts out a lot of junk and stuff that is not relevant. It also means just one feed coming in, instead of a dozen.

Overall, Reputation Monitor discovered about 90% of the items I found from my own customized feeds, but it also found at least half a dozen items over the past week, that I would not have known otherwise. One downside, unlike my own feeds, Reputation Monitor doesn’t give me a snippet of the discovered item – it simply provides the title and the URL – so it’s harder to determine if I should care about the item or not, but I’m sure most users will find it sufficient.

Reputation Monitor comes in a variety of flavors. There’s a free version for those looking to give it a test drive, and other options including a premium service for agencies.

If you’re not already tracking your reputation – perhaps put off by the effort needed to set it up – Reputation Monitor is a great way to get started.

(No disclosure needed – apart from some previous consulting and a free account for testing, no money exchanged hands for this review, and Distilled had no editorial input).