Stop Googling YourselfPosted: February 17, 2014
Back in blogging’s early days, when I was writing blogs about everything from indie bands to a short-lived yet unhealthy obsession with Sailor Jupiter, I had a tradition. Every year around this time, I would enter my name into a search engine, see what would come up, and then rant or rave about every little trace of myself I found in the digital world. It’s been a while, so I’m going to go through this exercise again.
I’m old now, so I won’t be doing much ranting or raving, but there are a few interesting tidbits out there. I’ll skip the usual junk like my name and address appearing on social media sites I’ve never signed up for or even heard of — those things that the armies of Internet robots create for all of us. And, unfortunately, it would seem that most of the writing I’ve had published over the years has disappeared from the digital consciousness, either eroded through time or caught on the wrong side of a paywall.
That’s why I’m delighted to find out that everything I wrote for Torontoist is still online and available. Not only did I write for them, but I did a lot of photography as well. I should probably save and print those stories before they, too, are forgotten.
One of my favourite Torontoist stories to write was a short piece about my Glen Rouge camping experience. It was the first time I’d gone camping since I was a kid, and I did it on a bicycle from my downtown apartment.
Thing is, though, other than that, there’s very little that comes up about me other than a few random photos — like this one that ended up in a slide show on the Frommer’s travel site, or these at the bottom of this real estate agent’s page — and a couple of nonsense comments I’ve long since forgotten leaving. About two-thirds of the way down this page, there’s a review of my old Second Life Magazine (which is a story I’ll get to in a future blog post), but there used to be many more of those. Sheesh, I used to be all over this Internet thing, back when I was working for newspapers, magazines, web development companies… Looks like I’ve been away longer than I thought. I’d better get to work, take control of my brand, get search-optimized and whatever else the kids are saying these days.
On another note, other people who share my name include the Chief Operating Officer of Konica Minolta, and the Vice President of Sweeney Real Estate in Providence, Rhode Island. Checking back further, Johannes Widmann is credited by Wikipedia as the inventor of the “+” and “-” signs. Also, according to unverified Internet sources, this humble barn, built in the 1560s, may be where my last name is rooted. Weird, eh?