To piggyback on the point I left open ended in my last post, I thought I would write about disclosure.

A misconception is that the Internet provides anonymity. This is only true under certain circumstances and usually applies only when you don’t want to leave a trace, which is not how companies should view contributing to forums and blogs.

A track record is important. It helps your online reputation.

I think that disclosure actually improves credibility. It lets the audience know where you’re coming from and know that you understand their questions and concerns, which is a connection that not many companies make.

An example where nondisclosure hurt credibility is Whole Foods CEO John Mackey posting negative comments anonymously, about Whole Foods competitors, on message boards.
Which ultimately led to this policy change by the company

The policy bans senior Whole
Foods executives and directors from posting messages about the company,
its competitors or vendors on Internet forums that it doesn’t sponsor.

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