DigitalFilipino Talks: Personal Branding and Reputation Management Through Social Media
Ms. Janette Toral’s interview with social media consultant Carlo Ople is one of my favorite DigitalFilipino Talks episode. Well, it’s partly because I’m biased towards those who came from Level Up. Though I have never met Carlo Ople in person, he is the younger brother of my colleague Marc Ople, whom I used to work with. Marc and I were part of Level Up’s product development team back in 2005.
Carlo also used to run Shadow Circle (long before he became part of LU), which was arguably the biggest and most powerful guild in Philippine Ragnarok history. I never wanted to fight against them during sieges, which was why we were lucky they were mostly on our side. A few Shadow Circle members saved my arse a couple of times during sieges in Sakray, when I remember being alone in an Emperium room and my Rogue was about to be mammo’d by two hulking Blacksmiths.
Why is this information important to me? I’m actually remembering a leader. And even as early as then, he had the makings of a reputation manager that specializes in social media. It’s not that easy to start an online guild and work your way to the top. And it’s not easy managing a reputation while following that path. A Massively Multiplayer Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) can be a very disorienting plane of existence, what with all the communication barriers (language and jargons) people from different walks of life have to deal with. Shadow Circle and Waukeen (Carlo Ople’s character) had their fair share of fans and detractors. All you need to do is run a search on “Waukeen” and you’ll see equal volumes of positive and negative commentaries from various forums.
While viewing this video, I began to have a vague understanding of how he managed to survive the confusing and controversial world of Philippine Ragnarok. (Goodness knows, I was so scared to venture out into Chaos server, which was literally chaotic, that Sakray server became my refuge. Ironically, I was one of the first Ragnarok players, back when Chaos had a population of 400. The only times I actually went into Chaos was when I was required to examine the server as a product dev GM.)
There were other nuggets of wisdom to be found in this interview. Some of them were issues about the Big Bad Blogger, which is still somehow related to reputation management. Of course, I already left a comment on his blog about my views regarding the matter and I also wrote about my two cents on BBB in this blog.
You might notice that the BBB brouhaha is just one of the two major events that jarred me out of my stupor in the last month. The second — and I again refer to this video while analyzing current events — is the whole buzz surrounding Angelo Reyes, which I also blogged about.
The reason I returned to watching this video and pulling insights from it is that I suddenly felt bad for Angelo Reyes and his family (regardless of whether he’s guilty or not). The man had accomplished a lot when he was alive: a high school valedictorian, among the top ten graduates of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio, a double Master’s degree holder (MBA from the Asian Institute of Management and Master of Public Administration from Harvard), a North Illinois University scholar, began his career as a team leader of the Philippine Army Special Forces Group, earned numerous medals and citations way before he became the Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff and even after he stepped into various Philippine Secretary positions. Then he died with a scandal attached to his name.
It took very little to discredit all that he had earned in his lifetime. And the dishonor was figuratively hammered further onto his gravestone, thanks to social media.
As I watch and re-watch the video, I feel affirmation for the thoughts I had been harboring. That there are many angles we can use when looking at a situation, event, condition, status etc. but the truth is, people never really know the whole scenario. We also cannot control how people will react. But the ball will always be on our court and our next move with regards to how people react is really up to us. That, I believe, is where personal branding and online reputation management begin.
Too bad Angelo Reyes can’t benefit from these anymore, though…