What Does It Mean to Be “Authentic” on the Web?

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    I was just reading this NYT article – “Authentic? Get Real” – about the what it means to be “real” on the web. I’ve heard the word at several conferences and read it in books / blogs / articles about marketing and social media, too, so it’s definitely a big buzz word these days.

    Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    Authenticity seems to be the value of the moment, rolling off the tongues of politicians, celebrities, Web gurus, college admissions advisers, reality television stars. In recent months it’s been cited by the likes of Katie Couric (“I think I love to be my authentic self,” she said on CBS); Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (“I believe in being as authentic as possible,” she told Glamour magazine); former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (who on Fox described himself as “being authentic”), even Pope Benedict XVI (more on that in a moment).

    What does it mean to be “authentic” for you personally / professionally when interacting on the web?

    For your agency, city or state department?

    How does it differ online vs. in-person?

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