When it comes to online reputation, it could be either ways, you could have a positive as well as negative reputation. While positive reputation always leads to better brand building as a person / products / services but negative reputation can also harms an image or even destroy the brand completely.
For instance you plan to buy a particular brand of TV and for general information sake you are carrying out a search on the product and you would like to know what the internet buzz is about it and what the others have to say, you generally end up on a forum or a blog or a random information sharing site, where registered people have entered their reviews about how the product has been useful or has been a pain for them. If there are too many negative reviews, your decision about buying the product may change or at least you would give it a second thought. These negative reviews need not be genuine, probably even posted by your competitors, but affects your brand in a genuine way.
You carry out a search on a well known person / celebrity and you may come across both positive as well as negative comments passed on. If an image search is made, you may come across all sorts of images, which could also be fake or morphed pictures, which could directly or indirectly harm a person’s reputation. This could be very well be controlled by a proper reputation management service.
Now a days there are a lot of movies / music videos that adopts online campaigning for their publicities. Sometimes just the online media proves as a better source of publicity than any other media. The viral marketing power is so effective that you may end up with instant publicity just immediately. Take for instance the “why this kolaveri di” which was released digitally and has received 14 lakh views on youtube in about a weeks time. People who would have otherwise be uninterested in a tamil movie now know that there a movie by the name “3” and the song belongs to that movie.