With all the news of the indiscretions of Wall Street, politicians and large corporations are we to think our little businesses are any less exposed? Not any more! There are numerous web sites that people are using to review and comment on every business they encounter. I have been playing with yelp.com and foursquare.com on my iPhone. Both can use GPS to identify where you are and identify businesses in your area that have been reviewed. Usually I am looking up restaurants or coffee shops but you can look up hotels, bookstores and yes even veterinarians. Next time you are running late for an appointment or an appointment is not going particularly well you might want to think that your client might be sharing their experience with you on one of these sites. Scary isn’t it?
An excellent and free way to see what discussion there is about you and your practice on the web is Google Alerts. When you sign up you can add topics and the web is scoured for references to it. I search for our practice and my name. You can be really devious and search your competitions name as well. It’s a great idea to hear both the pros and cons of your competitors.
Like it or not the transparency of the web leaves us all very exposed. At least there are ways to monitor what is being said about you.
Next time we can talk about what to do when less than complimentary things are said about you. You can turn a negative experience to a positive one. In the meantime check out yelp.com or foursquare.com to see if the world has been talking about you.

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