November 11, 2005
Jonny Goldstein On Autogoogling.
Admit it sometimes you do it. You know. It. You autogoogle. You Google yourself. No? Well I do, and it feels good. But for some people it probably isn't quite as enjoyable. Take my fellow ITP grad, Scott Fitzgerald. He happens to share his name with a guy who was so famous that he hogs the first 20 pages (that's as far as I checked) of Google results. So Scott (the one I know, not the deceased one) has to build his self esteem by actually doing stuff, rather than by autogoogling.
Another unpromising scenario for the prospective autogoogler is if you have an extremely common name. Like my friend John Sullivan, OK, he's a rock god, but he's sharing the Google space with a lot of other John Sullivans. So for him, and for other folks with common names, autogoogling probably is not that gratifying.
Which brings us to me, Jonny Goldstein. Now, Jonny Goldstein is not a common name. Jonathan Goldstein more so, Jonny Goldstein, not so much. Add to that that I blog and leave comments on other peoples' blogs, and it's not surprising that I dominate the first bunch of pages. But that's not much of a test, since very few people go by Jonny Goldstein.
Another variation is to autogoogle just your last name. That's a true test. So unsurprsingly, I'm not on the first page when I google just "Goldstein." But I am at the top of the second page, and waaaaaaaay out ahead of my brother. I can't beat him at arm wrestling, but I triumph when it comes to the autogoogle. I'm not going to link to him because I don't want to give him any of my Google juice.
I'm still behind my cousin Seth C. Goldstein, who is in the middle of the first page. He's a computer science professor, so he probably has all kinds of stuff online, which would account for the high listing.
What really delights me is that the writer and This American Life contributor Jonathan Goldstein doesn't show up until page 7. You see, he's the reason I started calling myself Jonny in the first place. He was already famous enough to have the Jewish, thirtysomething, comedic, google persona locked up in the Jonathan Goldstein namespace. So I pulled together some focus groups, had a few meetings, and came up with Jonny Goldstein instead. So it all worked out. No need to step on each others Google toes. He can duke it out with all the other Jonathan Goldsteins.
And that's about all the autogoogling I can handle right now. Although I don't buy the old wives tales that autogoogling causes blindness, I do have some important things to do right now, like leave a bunch of comments on peoples' blogs in order to keep scooting myself up the Google ladder. Bye for now, and happy autogoogling!
Posted by Jonny at November 11, 2005 09:44 PM