A sign of the times: the Ego Googler
Leada Gore, Editor
About a year ago, I was deluged with emails about Big Foot. I had written a column about the mythical monster and, apparently, it had been circulated on the internet. My name was all over the internet on all sorts of weird Big Foot sites.
I mentioned this to a friend of mine who advised I Google my name and see what came up.
And with that I became an ego-Googler.
Google is an internet search tool that, when prompted by a request, looks through millions of web sites and finds a match. For example, if you go to Google and type in “football” all sorts of football sites will pop up.
An ego-Googler is one who Googles their own name to see where it’s posted, too. Actually, it’s more than just ego, it’s a pretty interesting experience in how the internet has changed our world.
If I Google my name, there are lots of mentions of stories or columns I’ve written for various newspapers. But it’s those other things, such as the Big Foot fans, that scare me.
My column on a job interview where my shirt was unbuttoned throughout the whole thing ended up on a journalism web site in a feature on landing a job. I take it my column was filed under the “things not to do” category.
Another column about a much-married man can be found on a bigamy web site. Thankfully, it’s an anti-bigamy website, but it’s still a little disturbing to find your name and the word “bigamy” listed anywhere near each other.
Lots of economic development sites post stories from newspapers, so there’s lots of my stuff on those. I don’t know why someone in Montana would be interested in our local city’s budget, but if they’ve got time on their hands that’s fine with me.
Another site – this one dealing with football rivalries – has a column I wrote about how my husband (an Auburn fan) and myself (an Alabama fan) handle the Iron Bowl. I think the name of that site is www.leadaisright.com, but I’m not sure.
Perhaps the scariest thing I found was my name and a story I wrote listed on a we site for witches. We had a local coffee shop that was bedeviled, so to speak, with rumors of witchcraft meetings. The owner said it was hurting his business and wanted to get the story out that this was not the case. I wrote the story and ended up on all sort of weird web sites.
I realize, of course, that by writing this column, I will probably end up on several more weird web sites. So, just to make things complete, let me add these: UFOs, Loch Ness Monster and One-World Government. I can’t wait to Google next week.