Have we arrived at the moment when it’s actually rude to have not Googled someone before you meet?
I remember when it was still a little odd to discover you’d been Googled — during my interview for a job back in 2004, the owner of the firm referenced something I’d published and sheepishly confessed he’d Googled me.
Naturally, I’d Googled him, too. In fact, I would not think of not doing my homework on someone before we meet — when Google doesn’t give me enough information, I check LinkedIn profiles, look for Twitter accounts and see if they have a Facebook presence. It’s negligible not to, especially when I have a laptop with me almost all the time, an iPad, a smartphone and I suppose, in a pinch, without Internet access, people I could call to do the research and report back to me.
I sometimes jokingly refer people HERE when they ask how they can find me, or for contact information, experience or (gasp) for an old school business card. It’s offered jokingly, but the point is valid — I am cognizant of my digital footprint. More than that, I cultivate and nurture it. That is obviously important to the business I’m in, but I assert that its also important to the business YOU’RE in as well — no matter the business that is. I think especially if you’re in the business of improving your career, if you’re looking for that next great opportunity, managing and intentionally building your online presence is a very important step to take.