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April 27, 2009

SWINE FLU PANDEMIC

by stevenwyer

In less than a week, a flu-like virus has spread though a large part of the western world and the word “pandemic” is being thrown about by media sources worldwide.

The definition of pandemic is a widespread general epidemic over a wide geographic area, affecting a large proportion of the population. It is a powerful term that conjures up any number of doomsday scenarios.

According to this definition, my hometown has a pollen pandemic! While less dramatic, there are many things that are happening in our society that are widespread, appear globally and affect a large proportion of the population.

I write a great deal about reputation management, virtual slander, half truths and bad information being posted on the World Wide Web and how that impacts us. Complaint sites are not just a problem in the United States or the Americas. If you don’t believe me, go to the Western Australian Government complaints information web site at http://www.complaints.wa.gov.au or check out this article in Japanese at http://www.complaints.wa.gov.au/documents/14591DPCComple-Japanese.pdf (Serbian version at: http://www.complaints.wa.gov.au/documents/14591DPCCompl-Serb.pdf).

Germany has complaint sites like http://netzpolitik.org/ and South Africa has forums such as http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/blog.php?b=265 that give a voice to the masses. This could indeed be a pandemic.

Setting aside the drama for effect, there is now a global forum that allows anyone, anywhere to say almost anything. Truth, half truth, falsehoods, slander and lies. The only way to inoculate yourself is by being pro-active. Wash your hands often, wear a mask whenever possible, don’t rub your eyes and do a search on the name of your business, yourself and your family members. If you identify a posting that makes your blood boil, call a reputation management company, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

–Steven Wyer, ReputationAdvocate.com

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