Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What's in a name?

An acquaintance recently told me that he found out information about new people he'd met by doing a Google search on their name. My first thought, of course, was how difficult it would be to sort through all the information and know which person to attribute it to. I mean, there are hundreds and possibly thousands of people with the same name. That's why the credit bureau uses social security numbers in addition to names.

So, for kicks I decided to do a Google search on my own name. I put in my first and last name (no middle name or initial) and I was astounded to see that the search located over 7 million websites with my name on them! Then I began looking at some of the pages.

One of the men who shares my name is an 'Employee Performance Expert'. In fact, he has an entire business/company with our name in its title. He's taken our name and placed dot com after it for his impressive website.

Another who shares my name is the founder and manager of a record label. He's written songs for and performed with several indy bands. He's produced albums for other bands, and also does solo stuff. He also has a graphic design company headquartered in the same town where I live!

Another is a professional rugby player in Australia. Another is a professional portrait, wedding, and exhibit photographer. Another is an award-winning stage director. Another is a research associate professor at Northwestern University. Another is a member of Ireland's leading political party. Another is a real estate agent in Ohio. But possibly the most eerie is another guy with my name who loves to sing jazz standards as I do. Only this guy put dot org after our name for his website, and he actually has a career singing jazz. For me it is a hobby.

I didn't look through all 7 million websites, but I did look at about 100 and didn't see any that actually were about me. Even my blog didn't show up because I have intentionally left out my last name. I guess if I ever want to become famous I have a lot of work to do.

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