Thebastidge: Vanity search
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    Friday, July 06, 2007

    Vanity search

    Googled my own name tonight, out of boredom. Fortuately, nothing related to me comes up in many pages of Google results.

    Because that can pretty much only be a bad thing, unless you make your living by name recognition. Those of us who have to maintain non-notorious employment prospects cannot be helped by having private activity easily avaulable to potential employers.

    Regardless of whether that activity is moral, ethical, legal, or not, a blank space where your personal life should be is just easier in our current litigious and overly-PC society.

    I maintain a pretty thin veil of anonymity on this blog- plenty of people know who I am, and my personal friends and closer work acquaintences know of it and sometimes, they even read it. I even have pictures available through links and on the page, and if you had a legal reason to, you could find my name through accounts that I link to.

    I just don't throw my actual, legal name all over this place because it won't really make my writing any more valid, and it would have the potential to adversely affect my employment prospects, and I have people depending on me to bring home the bacon. I can't afford to be black-balled. Fortunately, we're still relatively free in our speech here, unlike some other places.

    I don't use my nom de plume to hide behind while I make personal attacks on anyone, I don't need to conceal my identity from any legal actions because I don't libel anyone here- I usually try to keep it pretty civil, in fact. This doesn't mean I think others are foolish to reveal their names, it just doesn't work for me at this time. I wish them well, and respect their committment to what they feel is important.


    Blogger Mark-Hendrik said...

    Having a google search of your name turn up documents isn't necessarily a bad thing. In my most recent job interview the interviewer (who is now my boss, since I got the job) told me he had done some due diligence on me by searching google for me and looking at my myspace and facebook profiles. In google he mainly found four years of college track results, which can help show dedication and a good work ethic, and fairly tame profiles on the two major social networks. He was reassured by the fact that I he could find me on the internet and not find anything that would raise any red flags.

    5:06 PM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    Yeah, but I blog about gun rights, opinions on politics and international relations, and sexual topics quite often. My opinions are not always PC, even though I try to be fair and honest.

    I also don't have much in the way of "neutral" results like your college stuff online- my degree was through several colleges over a long period of time as a working adult, and I don't have a bunch of joe college extra curricular activities to balance that out.

    My point is that my blog itself might be one of those red flags- merely for expressing an honest, conservative-libertartian point of view.

    7:56 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Larry: After recent events at an employer you might know of, I too am considering that which I once took great pride in: saying exactly what I want, when I want, piss on PC; talk politics and religion whenever possible in the workplace. It seems, my only other choice is to become fully self-employed, however, in reality it would still be advantages to "put a sock in it" with clients just the same. Of course, there are other compelling reasons for maintaining anonymity having nothing to do with ones ability to make dough....Vanight

    9:49 PM  
    Blogger Spungen said...

    My name is very distinctive, and my profession is one in which decorum is expected and lots of professional information about me is easily available. So I have more to fear from Google than a lot of other people, and I try to keep my name off the blogs I hang out on.

    It's usually the goofy and embarrassing stuff that tends to hang around to haunt you. Of a six-year career in journalism, the one article that now pops up under my name is an article about a hemp convention, typed into a website by some stoner who couldn't spell very well.

    All it takes is one easily offended weirdo to stir up trouble. You won't necessarily even know they're doing it. For example, they'll trace your URL to your employer, then take your blog posts and email them anonymously. Your employer may not even tell you about it.

    9:33 PM  

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