Sunday, December 04, 2005

FAMA, My Girl

At a conference on the market value of reputation held in Zurich this fall, I caught my first glance of her. A presentation by Fritz Gutbrodt of SwissRe about Fama left me wanting more. This asbstract goddess of reputation was enthralling. As Fritz pointed out, if you look closely, you will see Fama's many tongues a-wagging and her countless eyes upon you. Fama was the original generator of word-of-mouth. She sprinkled rumors and news about people from the heavens onto unsuspecting villages and towns below. With her trumpet in hand (bellowing out compositions of good and bad deeds) and inked quill on her side (all the better to write with), Fama is our poeta laureata. Of course, her words could build up someone's good name instantly or shatter their reputation forever. Her job was to take what she heard and spread it like wildfire. For us reputation watchers, Fama was doing her job way before we arrived. What a conversation we could have today!


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