Several days ago, a blogger on a well-respected site that I frequently read stated that the gender gap on wages was a myth. He said that if women don’t earn as much as men it is because they don’t work as much (really, he said this). He used all sorts of manipulated information that failed to address the underlying issues, such as women are usually also responsible for child care. I suspect that he was trying to be contentious to receive more traffic. I called out the post on Twitter, and the author attacked me personally saying I was acting like a victim. I am not making any of this up.
A couple days after the Gender Gap is a Myth post, a woman posted a strong rebuttal on the website, which pointed out some inconsistencies and omissions by the male blogger. In my mind, it made the male blogger look even worse. For me, the end result has been that I will not read anything the male blogger writes anymore because a) I have lost any respect for his assertions and b) I think that he writes to get a rise out of his audience rather than to inform. His reputation is ruined for me, and there is very little he can do to change it (if he even cares).
The bottom line here is that what you publish online (on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc), how you respond to comments and how you interact with others who disagree with you all influence your reputation. You can create a reputation for being fair, or for being smart, or on the other hand, you could create a reputation for being a raconteur or a complete ass. Your reputation matters. And it will influence what people think of you, what they say about you and whether they continue to read your stuff/subscribe to your blog and so forth.
Reputation can indeed affect your bottom line.
What is your reputation? What do you think people think about you based on what you put out there? Do you think it matters? And if you don’t think it matters, why?