There are so many reasons why companies should care about how people perceive them. Indeed, virtually every company recognizes this truth when they invest in public relations professionals, advertisements, marketing departments, etc. There is a curious oversight, though, when it comes to online reputations. Many companies do not pay even the slightest attention what their overall online reputations are–what information Google reveals about them, what customers are saying on social networks, and what various niche forums say about their products or services.
It is this last possibility that I’d like to focus on in this column. Forums are important. You must register for them first, so there are not many fly-by-night commenters on a forum. Furthermore, spam is considerably less common on forums, which also serves to make them more respectable outlets for information sharing. Forums are more of a private atmosphere, too, even though they are often crawled by search engines, they are insular communities–all of these factors combine to mean that people trust statements on forums more than comments left of blogs or even social networking statuses.
Many forums are not search-able through search engines. They have required registration and do not allow their forums to be crawled by search engines. This does not mean, however, that forums have to remain invisible to those who want to discover what is being said on them. Boardreader is a site that helps people to look through forum postings, whether they are about soccer, cars, fashion, or certain cities.
Boardreader was founded in May of 2000 by a collection of engineers and students from the University of Michigan in order to find and then accurately display the messages that people often send to each other through forums boards online. Boardreader searches thousands of forums simultaneously for information pertaining to your keyword. Part of the aim for Boardreader is to increase traffic to various message boards and forums. They can do this by increasing the exposure that those forums receive. You can, of course, search by more advanced parameters too.
It is absolutely essential that people know what is being about their companies, products, or services. If they do not, they will not know how to properly respond. With that in mind, Boardreader can be used to monitor forum postings for online reputation monitoring reasons.
The online reputation of a company matters much more than many people realize. The number of people who discount the importance of an online reputation is quite alarming–as virtually everyone goes online now when they want information about anything. Whether it is Walmart, a famous athlete, a new movie coming out, or the latest fashion trends–people look to the Internet for their information. In light of this, it is very important to know not just what is coming up on the search engines for you, but also to know what people are saying in more private locales about your company or product. Boardreader is the best possible way to do that.
This is an article that is actually written by the makers of Boardreader:
This is the Boardreader site, do some searches to see the layout: