Lesson Numero Uno of building an online profile / social media profile:

Everything you publish is important.

Uno de Waal, Social Media consultant and all-round-dude-of-note has taught me a lesson in this regard. You can never afford to sit back and just write stuff. You have to think about who is reading what you write and what that could mean, if not now into the future.

Uno was remarking on an article I wrote for the Citizen newspaper (I have a weekly op-ed column with them that gets published online) in which I was attempting to educate some non-techie readers about the appearance and exciting growth of Muti, Africa’s own social bookmarking site.

His concern came down to the title of the article, “SA has big footprint on social web”, which, by the way was not my title but edited in by the editorial team at the Citizen. My first choice was “Good Muti”. He disagreed with my comment at the end of the article: “It’s great to see Africans having a significant footprint on the global social network scene”, stating otherwise with some impressive research to boot.

First up, the context is important. I was not trying to compare Muti to Digg, the comparison is ridiculous at this early stage. I was rather commenting on Business2.0’s rather encouraging recognition of Muti.

Look, nobody’s going to please everybody all of the time. I’m not saying that. And the better you write, and more opinionated you are, the better the chance someone will disagree. But carefully consider the quality of the material you publish online. Uno has taught me to stick with a title I prefer over a traditional editorial team, because it could matter to the market’s perception of what I write. This is another reason I like to use my real name whenever I publish online or comment in other’s blogs. It forces me to think.

Arb thoughts for a Sunday.