Social media is immediate, personal and extremely volatile. This means that information, misinformation and rumour spread faster than lice at a school picnic. Reputations can be made and destroyed within a few blog posts, Facebook groups and re-tweets.

The best way to protect a brand is to know what is being said, when and by whom as it appears. This could be done with a mixture of Google Alerts, Technorati services as well as a host of other online services, but it's time-consuming and the risk of missing something is enormous.
When Quirk launched its corporate-grade Online Reputation Management (ORM) tool, BrandsEye, in March this year there was a lot of excitement about how the immediacy and granularity it offered could help people and brands protect their reputations online. For individuals and smaller companies that could not afford the substantial $750.00 a month price tag for the premium service, there were also a lot of disappointed grumblings.
Now the company has developed three additional BrandsEye offerings that distil the service to its essence ­- online monitoring.
"Bloggers know how to manage their reputations. It's what they do every day, so they don't need our help to do it. What they need is a handy and reliable monitoring application that makes sure a Twitter post at 2am is not lost, or an obscure comment in a forum is not missed," says Rob Stokes, CEO of Quirk eMarketing.
"For $1.00 a month, BrandsEye for bloggers is designed specifically for this market, and gives individuals access to a daily log of up to five phrases."
Quirk has also launched a small business and enterprise monitoring service. The small business offering tracks up to 20 phrases updated every six hours for $100.00 a month and the enterprise product provides hourly updates for an unlimited number of search terms for $350.00 per month.