Reputation Word by Word
How much fun is this? Google Labs has this new program where you can search words among a database of two billion words and phrases taken from over five million books published during the past 200 years. Those are all big numbers and mind blowing if you think about it. You can track the usage of “God” or “enemy” or “Lady Gaga.” Since this is now available to the public, I quickly typed in “corporate reputation” to Ngram Viewer and got to see how the term has soared over the past 19 or so years. The above chart shows the upward rise from 1990 to 2009 and demonstrates how much attention has been paid to the term in published books.
Then I decided to look at the terms’ corporate reputation (blue line) and online reputation (red line). As you can see below, online reputation took off around 1998 and is moving upward although it does not come close to corporate reputation in the world of authorship.
I found all this out when reading an article in the WSJ while sitting on a plane (where I get alot of reading done). I was captivated by the ability to capture trends by tracing words and cultural signposts over time. It is a researcher’s dream and I am busy making slides for powerpoint decks that we use to describe the surge of interest in reputation today. I guess you could say that I have been lucky enough to ride the wave.