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Drinking on the Internet


I don’t  like beer all that much but that is the subject of another post.  On the re-net we talk about on-line reputation management.  Managing an online reputation can be a challenge, especially while attending a conference. This year I have attended and spoken at several conferences.  I enjoyed them all and attended the after hours parties, so I could get to know the many wonderful people who live in my computer.  The parties were fun but I didn’t drink anything alcoholic.

There are several reasons for my odd non-drinking behavior.  The number one reason is because if I have a drink someone will take a photo of me drinking in one of those hot dark crowded noisy rooms.  The photo will go on the internet with my name on it.  The photo will become part of my permanent record and part of my on-line portfolio. What goes on the internet is forever.

Pictures to share

A picture here and there at a party is OK but with the number of conferences I have attended this year it would add up to multiple photos every six or seven weeks taken in different locations around the country.  I work very hard, too hard to want to be known as the woman who knows how to party.  My clients expect me to spend some of my time working and marketing their homes.

Managing The Message

We all need to manage our on-line presence and watch that business portfolio and permanent record.  I for one don’t want to have a reputation as someone who parties hard. I live in Minnesota and we have our own kind of culture here.  As a state our residents value hard work, in fact we are known nation wide for having one of the most highly educated, stable and dedicated work forces in the country.  We are also known as the “brain state”.  Quirky I know but I have lived here forever and it is part of who I am.

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If you attend conferences and take pictures at parties please be sensitive to the idea that the picture you took and posted online could end up being part of a colleagues reputation and permanent record.

Written By

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.



  1. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Wow. As if I needed another reason to stay away from Minnesooohhhtah. Guess all that cold weather keeps people bottled up in their houses too much.

    I agree that the photos go way too far, but your “better than though” attitude about people enjoying a real live social gathering goes even further. Man what a buzz kill.

    I think I’ll stay down here with lazy “small brained” Texans who enjoy the comfort of walking around without sticks up their asses. I will join them as the enjoy the fruits of the labor that seems to be inadequate to some folksy Yankee types who can’t seem to stop rolling vowels.

    Love ya Teresa, but sometimes your arrogance knows no bounds.

  2. teresa boardman

    November 5, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Mike I am not understanding how this is arrogant. I have attended many of the parties and have had a great time, including conversations with you.

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    November 5, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Mike, Teresa isn’t talking about being social, having a beer, going to an English Pub in San Francisco or any of the things we do together, I read between the lines to mean that as we all attend these conferences we should avoid being that guy, you know- the one who is so wasted he does the Robot dance, knocks lamps over and we get photographic evidence of it as it happens and THAT becomes part of their persona. You can’t un-take pictures.

    We practice in Austin with a tech demographic and most of our clients we meet are from social media connections and we meet in person at parties. That’s common and there are plenty of drinking pictures out there- but we’re smiling, not barfing.

    I think that’s the distinction Teresa was making- us rowdy Texans are fine, but we do have reputations to mind. And as someone who has grown up in the tech era, I can tell you how true this is- I’ve known people to not get jobs based on Facebook pics of themselves. I like beer more than the next Texan girl, but when cameras are around, I *try* not to do anything too stupid.

  4. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    November 5, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Mike, for example Fernet comes to mind 😉 lol

  5. Bill Lublin

    November 5, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Mike: I like you and Teresa too much to get in the middle of this – not to mention the possibility of a Texas Minnesota border war i frightening – both states have fierce reputations (and I take that whole “Don’t mess with texas” thing very srsly) – but I think Teresa’s point is well taken – photo taken by someone because they thought they were cute, or goofy or funny, might provide a skewed picture of the person who is the subject of the photo. And that part of the point she makes here is that managing your reputation becomes difficult when you are the subject of someone else’s photographic creativity.
    That having been said, I cherish some of the photos that were taken by others at Inman talking and joking with friends because I will never have the chance to create those photo opps again. And I love having the opportunity to create those memories and have them memorialized through the eyes of others.

  6. Bill Lublin

    November 5, 2008 at 9:22 am

    What’s wrng with the robot dance?

  7. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Hey, dont get me wrong, Teresa is a dear friend and I don’t coddle my friends. She would do the same to me in Minnesota second if that what was on her mind and I respect that. That said,

    This, any way you slice it, is arrogant:

    “As a state our residents value hard work, in fact we are known nation wide for having one of the most highly educated, stable and dedicated work forces in the country. We are also known as the “brain state”.”

  8. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 9:34 am

    We all have to be careful with our reputations, on line and off. I know where to draw the line, but my line isn’t the same as others. I was just making that distinction.

    Teresa knows I love her and if anyone has thick enough skin to hear something like that, it’s TBoard.


  9. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I will robot dance with you as long as there are no cameras present.


  10. Benn Rosales

    November 5, 2008 at 9:35 am

    A hotel room photo of a fellow blogger comes to mind at how innocent folks think pictures are.

  11. Derec Shuler

    November 5, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Teresa, thanks for the explanation why we never see you drinking for the camera 🙂

    Brand management IS extremely important, especially more so with social networking platforms like Facebook with photo tagging.

    Cheers, Derec

  12. teresa boardman

    November 5, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Mike – I thought if I put some context around why I have the attitudes that I have they would make more sense. There are regional differences. For example I have noticed that people dress more casually for business in California than they do in New York.

    I think we should all draw our own line and I respect the decisions my peers make and respect their wishes. There was someone at the last conference I attended who specifically stated they did not want any after hours published. I didn’t ask any questions, and was careful about where I pointed my camera. Last year in New York I got a picture of a blogger who was obviously drunk, he was leaning against a wall, with a drink in his hand, barely able to stand up. The picture made me smile, and I sent it to him with a note. I never posted it.

    Yes I am tough but your comment was too personal for me to just shrug off. You commented about me as a person in a very negative way on a public forum which is different from disagreeing with my idea, opinion or post. I have to problem with someone not agreeing with what I write but when it gets personal my skin is not at all thick.

  13. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 10:10 am

    It’s not about the content of your message, its the delivery. I just don’t think it’s right to attempt to protect people from themselves or hold up a moral equivalent. What’s worse is saying that the pedigree of another part of the country makes them smarter or better decision makers.

    Maybe you didn’t mean it sound arrogant, I’ll buy that, however, I have a lot of friends, including you, in the RE.Net that may not think otherwise. I commented in defense of them, not myself. Anyone that knows me already knows that, for better or worse, what you see is, what you get.

    I honestly do love you and cherish your friendship. You drink water, I’ll drink beer and we’ll talk again.

  14. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 10:17 am

    If I hurt your feelings Teresa, I apologize. It wasn’t my intent.

  15. Jay Thompson

    November 5, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Benn wrote:

    A hotel room photo of a fellow blogger comes to mind at how innocent folks think pictures are.

    If that’s a reference to the photo I think it is (that I took), it should be noted that picture was posted WITH the permission of the person, and was later removed from public view — and not at the subject’s request, but at the request of someone else.

  16. Mike Price

    November 5, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I wasn’t defending myself, I have nothing to defend. I have fun, but not that much fun. I’m too old to run with the crowd. In fact, in Las Vegas, I went to bed before the parties started and had one drink and left the only party I went to.

    Last comment on this and I need to move on. I am getting emails from folks who wanted to comment on this post and didn’t, FWIW, I don’t think Teresa meant to single anybody out and you don’t have anything to worry about.

  17. Heather Elias

    November 5, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Hmm. Hesitant to jump in on this, but here are my two cents. I’m as careful as the next person about reputation management online; and DC is a pretty conservative area. That being said, I wouldn’t equate being photographed with a drink in my hand as the same negative effect of some of the drunken escapades that you see on facebook or myspace pages. (Seriously, I saw some halloween party pics of Realtors in my area…eeek!)

    I do think that it’s a great idea to keep track of what impression you make online. As an adult of legal drinking age, I hope that any clients of mine wouldn’t be offended by my margarita in hand.

    And I totally agree that if you are the one with the camera in your hand, that you need to respect the people who turn up in your pictures… which I think has been the case with the conferences I’ve attended this year.

  18. Danilo Bogdanovic

    November 5, 2008 at 10:56 am

    That’s why I have the following rule (which some of you have heard me say loudly before)…

    “No picture or video taking between the times of 5pm and 9am”

    Another rule I have is…

    “Do NOT post pictures of other people without their permission FIRST”

  19. Steve Simon

    November 5, 2008 at 11:08 am

    It is a constant source of amazement to me at just how far off the digested version of the written word can be!
    You have here in this post a perfect example of how the intent of the written post was no where near the conveyed meaning (to one fellow)…
    I didn’t see any of the trait or intent the comment maker Mike was writing about. I wouldn’t be so bold as to say he is completely wrong, but I saw absolutely nothing of what he described relative to delivery or anything else?
    I guess that is why I do prefer the combination of the written word and the spoken word. When both are combined you get retention from the written word and the feel of the spoken word. When writing alone, the feel can be missed; when only spoken words can be forgotten to quickly…
    If it is really important write it and speak it. If it’s not that important do what you wish, but be prepared for the meaning to land off the mark:)
    Just my thoughts:)

  20. Michelle DeRepentigny

    November 5, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I second Teresa!

    I will never forget a bbq with my husband’s coworkers although it has been 20 years or so ago. It was freezing cold and I was slugging back coffee & Kaluha drinks, the end was not pretty and I was really glad when he came to work for me so I never have to face those folks again. Thank heavens that was years before the online revolution where NOTHING is private anymore.

  21. Todd Carpenter

    November 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    It’s unfortunate people take pictures out of context. For the record Jeff Corbett is not my gay lover.

    Before REBlogWorld, I sent an email to the speakers requesting that the camera stuff be limited, or left offline, especially if the person having there picture taken was resisting.

    I’m certainly not shy about it, but Teresa’s point is very valid. An innocent pic of someone with a beer in their hand can be pretty easily misinterpreted. Especially if theirs an uncomplimentary look on their face.

  22. Mark Eibner

    November 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    we’re at it again Drinking on the Internet: Get out of your feed reader and comment on ..

  23. Larry Yatkowsky

    November 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Proclamation –

    Hence forth:

    All attendees at all socials;

    -must check their cameras at the door,
    -must dispose of personal name tags,and replace them with No Pictures Allowed badges
    -must wear masks,
    -must dress as monks,
    -must not engage other attendees
    -must not cuddle or grope
    -must not make leud remarks about anybody at any time
    -must not KISS anything
    -must not lurk, gawk or imagine
    -must conduct themselves as if their mother was watching
    -must not have an opinion
    -must bring your own bag of snacks
    -must not ever lighten up
    -must not hold anything other than their own hand
    -must only drink Kool Aid
    -must leave in a quiet, orderly, totally professional manner.
    -must not ever discuss the event or those who attended

    Following these rules will assure your reputation, save you money, give you a good nights sleep, provide a clear head and gurarantee you will die lonesome.

    Simplified street version:

    Don’t want dah spin? Don’t do dah sin!

  24. Jon McAchran

    November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I’m all for having a beer, but we do “all need to manage our online presence.” Once it is online it is permanent!

  25. JeffX

    November 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I’m only commenting here cause Todd dragged me in…thx Todd 😉

    First, a picture is worth a thousand words and they all lie in the eye and brain of the beholder…

    Second, I’m comfortable enough with my heterosexuality to laugh at/with anyone who chooses to take my and Todd’s pic out of context or joke about it. For the record, Todd had no issue with me posting the pic but if he would like me to remove it, I would understand.

    Third, I think my online reputation is already beyond repair 😉

    Lastly…I’m not sticking my nose between T and Mike because I like where it currently is, and respect them both immensely 🙂

  26. Lisa Sanderson

    November 5, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I totally got T’s point and thought the first comment came out of left field. No offense, Mike. A reminder every now and then about being careful about what’s ‘out there’ is absolutely in order. And to show an example of how one’s market may view certain things in different ways is an excellent way to make one stop and think that much longer about the implications of one’s pictured behavior. Context is everything and viewers of photos, more often than not, don’t have any.

    And asking the subjects’ permission to post photos is just plain old common courtesy, is it not?

  27. venti chai

    November 5, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    another thought.. the social network sites like face book and my space. Maybe pictures that aren’t on YOUR pages but on friends..or boyfriend/girlfriend/family members

  28. Missy Caulk

    November 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Oh gosh…all I thought about when I read this was me in my Trulia costume at Inman photo.
    Since I rarely have more than 2 glasses of wine or I fall asleep it hasn’t really bothered me. But, I know what you saying, some folks care and some don’t so just ask permission first.
    Is this why we saw very few photos of Blog World in Vegas?

  29. Todd Carpenter

    November 5, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    <<“Is this why we saw very few photos of Blog World in Vegas?”


  30. Brad Nix

    November 6, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I like Teresa.
    I like Mike.
    I like beer.
    I like cameras.

    Why don’t I like this conversation thread?
    Because context matters in-person and on-line.

  31. Mike Price

    November 6, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I like everyone, brad, t, you name it. I got grumpy and lost some face for running my mouth, It’s way out of character for me. T and I are cool now. I’ll make it up to her somehow.

    It does say something about context though. I think we both dropped the ball there. Me more so than her, but it’s done.

    No pics after 5 is an easy rule to live by.


  32. Paula Henry

    November 8, 2008 at 10:08 am

    ALarry – Nice list!LOL – I haven’t been to any of the socials this year, but do enjoy the twits, pictures and commentary.

    I don’t drink, because I am only good for one glass of wine, then it is off to bed.

    I remember at my daughters wedding; every picture of my sister had her with a glass in her hand. Oh yea, she made several trips around the block in the Limo, mixing her own drinks. It’s now one of the things which is always said when my daughters pictures or videos are shown.

    Like T, I would not like my reputation based on pictures of a one or two time event. In social media – news makes the rounds quickly and is preserved forever.

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