Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thing #39

Well going in I knew there was more than one person with my name. But it did make a big difference how I searched--full name, full name with middle initial, shortened name, and name with "" around it! Well, sometimes the "s helped.

I started in Google, full name and last name, and of all things, came up with three people finding sites in the first three hits. A geneaology project--Nebraska Genealogical Preoject, Colfax County Press, which had my Dad's obitauary, even though we're from Cumming County. There was another that came up with a totally unrelated Catherine _____ _____ Hatterman, which was interesting. A response to a request for information I'd made to Acqnet-L was there--I'd forgotten all about that. That was the most interesting, and startling thing about this search. Not too many years ago a friend Googled me here at work, and there were hardly any hits--maybe part of a page. On one of my searches there were three pages, and what wasn't people search sites, or geneaolgical search sites, were events I'd forgotten, the few responses I've made to blogs or columns in the New York Times. The most successful search was under the shortened form of my name and last name. That I'd forgotten the items I'd responded to was bad enough, but finding things that I hadn't really attached my name to, like this blog, my Netvibe page online, and my Facebook page, (Facebook didn't really surprise me that much. And the really disturbing ones, like geneaology pages that neither I nor family had entered--I know, because the names attached are totally unknown to me. They had my name, my ex's name, our marriage date, and an approximate divorce year! It also brought up pages from NLC's staff pages, the NLC Commisioners Notes, the Statehouse Observer (15 years of service...). I was surprised. But searching on my name also brought up search sites for names, genealogical sites for names, and most common names by %.

And one site even had the other people with my name, "alias's" (one's married name shouldn't count as an alias!) and addresses. Something of a creepy feeling from that one, too. At least I know the other people by my name are out there, yet. This time I couldn't find them.

Then I tried Bing, on a different day. Same assortments of my name. Bing had a tendency to take my name appart, so it really wasn't great for this exercise. And apparently, my full name happens more often on the genealogical sites. The shortened form did pull up more sites about me.

Lexxe was a much better site for this exercise. Agian, the full name was more genealogical, but the shortened form nearly brought up all the hits that Google did, but Google is still the Big fish in the pool. At least the first two hits weren't searching sites, or genealogical sites.

I'm already in Blogger, Facebook, and LinkedIn, with possibly the most minimal profiles possible, but from a search, you could find out I was a librarian at NLC, my position, my supervisor, etc. However, looking me up isn't as simple as it may seem. There are all those historical Catherines, that aren't even related to me. In Ohio. Greatgrandfather may have gone through there, but as far as we know, he didn't leave any kin there. Actually, a prospective employer searching on my name might need to be a little careful, to be certain he found the correct person, time period, and state of origin. At least for me. An I thought I had afairly unique name, at least the last one!

No comments: