Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Biggest Google Competitor

It might have been 2003 when I first Googled myself. The thought never crossed my mind before, but somehow, that day, I wondered what one could possibly discover if they typed my name in the search box. So I typed it in. To my surprise, several matches were found.

The first 5 or so were 15 Bytes articles with either my byline attached or my name mentioned in the text, accompanied by my professional title. The next few had my work email and phone as they were from the UAC website.

I clicked through a few of the links – even though I was very familiar with those pages. I guess I was still into my role as “stranger” as I did research on me. I’ll admit, it felt pretty cool with my name out there, published articles and all, being the “go to” girl who had the answers to all your art-related questions.

A couple years ago I was bored and did it again – I Googled myself. But this time, my “results” were trumped by a different Laura Durham. This one was a wedding planner in Florida. She was also a mystery writer, a co-founder of her own business and a blonde.

I felt little and insignificant – kinda like Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story when he walks into the warehouse and sees all the other boxed up Buzz Lightyears and realizes he’s not unique (OK, maybe not that dramatic. I didn’t actually cry for myself like I cried for Buzz). This Laura Durham seems more important and accomplished what with her wedding planning business, published novels and pant suits. She even took our name and made her own .com before I could (not that I ever had plans to).

Yesterday things were slow here at work (when you don’t have money to spend there’s only so much you can do) so I looked me up again. This wedding planner is still at the top of the Google results. I come in number 7 on the list and number 4 is a softball player in Houston. There is also a realtor and a colllege student in Indiana who is the member of some arts committee.

It’s not like I thought I was the only person with my name out there. I mean, I’m glad my parents didn’t try to be unique and name me Timberly or Banjo or something absurd like that. And honestly, I don’t come across many Lauras. But someone with my last name too? It feels funny.

So I guess what I’m saying is I have a new life mission: to accomplish something significant enough that will put me back at the top of the Google search results…although this wedding planner/novelist will be a tough competitor.

And that is the end of my vanity post.


Ilene said...

Such ambitious goals. Just marry a guy with an unusual last name.

It totally worked for me (that and I have a rare first name). I am the only Ilene P. on google. Funny, one of the top finds is a made-up quote you wrote for me on a gallery review. That is about as published as I will ever get.

Cameron's Corner said...

Try typing your name into the Find Friends box on Facebook. I'm sure there are dozens of you. I did that and as soon as I saw all the Cameron Daley's out there, I fought the urge to invite them all to be my friends.

Just imagine if you made friends (in real life) with a bunch of Laura Durham's. You'd go places and you'd introduce yourself and all your friends with the same name.

Weird... and kinda fun, I think.

Charlotta-love said...

I googled Charlotte Petersen and this is what I get:

1. Charlotte is on facebook. (it's my profile. Does that mean I'm on facebook too much? Probably.)

2. Wedding harpist in Scotland named Charlotte Petersen.

3. A LinkedIn account for a business developer at Danske Bank in Denmark.

4. ....the list continues with several Danish links.

I'm actually really surprised that my facebook account is number 1.

Lisa Marie Trent said...

Personally, I wish my name was "Wingspan."

Morty said...

When I "Googled" myself a few years ago, I didn't have many entries, but among other things, I found myself mentioned in someone's blog. Luckily,what was said about me was good, but some of the other people mentioned weren't so lucky.

The part about being named "Timberly or Banjo" made me laugh!