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Old 20th December 2005, 01:15 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default What Happens on the Road, Stays in the Blog

Authored by: Gord Hotchkiss

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/hot.../1220_gh1.html

A Snippet:

This is a dynamic altering of how we communicate. The degrees of separation that divide our global community become short circuited online. We now exist with one foot in the real world and one foot in the virtual

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Old 20th December 2005, 04:43 PM   #2
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Default ain't that the truth

{in the voice of "Al" from Happy Days},

"yeup, yeup, yeup, yeup." shake head, wipe hands on greasy apron.

It's a weird new reality eh? I just had lunch bought for me by a reader who was in town to see his parents and called my office out of the blue. He was able to tell me stuff I had forgotten I had written about my family. He had obviously "Jeeved" me as he knew stuff about my personal life not referenced in Top30 Google, Yahoo or MSN results which tend to focus on my professional persona. There is something spooky about that. It is as if the wired world has become a small town where there is a good chance everyone knows each other. I moved from a massive city (TO) to a very small city (Vic) fifteen years ago. For me, being a known name online is a similar feeling.

Anyone interested can literally find tens of thousands of references about me on major search engines. Fortunately, most of those references are articles. When you write a frequent column, it is hard not to include family and friends as subject material because they are such big parts of our lives. (I recall you once wrote about enjoying evenings at home watching movies with your family)

I find it extremely interesting to see what catches readers' interests. Earlier this autumn, I had a couple guys from Microsoft call after they read what I thought was a rather silly piece about my nephews' search engine preferences in late August. Apparently, they took it quite seriously.

Due to our absurd and prolific noteriety as search writers, I suspect we are experiencing today what most others will soon experience; near-total information awareness about us as people. Knowing what I know about search, that is hardly surprising. I've used the immense power of search to research potential business partners, job applicants, other SEM firms and practitioners and other writers. The habit has found its way into my private life as well. I also research people I know. I do this not because I have evil intent but because I am interested, I believe research is the essence of due-dilligence, and because I can. (also, it helps me figure out how each SE works with a base-line I am honestly interested in, my friends and colleagues.)

In that way, we are in danger of being reduced from being perceived as people to having data accessed about us as information points. It has already gotten to that level in some cases. Remember last year when many of our names were used as bidded keyword phrases? That incident hit home how fragile our hold on our most basic personal information really is.

In the end though, being a minor online celebrity is as convenient as it can be spooky. I get instant action when calling another tech firm and immediate access to practically any relevant technology I am interested in. That rocks. Not only does it make my job easier, it increases my value to the firm that employs me. (in your case, your noteriety increases the value of Enquiro and its services.)

For some unknown reason, because our names are known, what we do is interesting to people. I had to resist the temptation of blogging about the collection around the dinner table on the last night of SES Toronto in May. Having supper with any one of the people around that table would be more than blog-worthy. I would hazard to guess that particular table is directly or indirectly responsible for at least a tenth of SEO/SEM news printed each day. Odd how none of us actually wrote it up though each of us had amazing conversations.

As a global culture, we are going to have to get used to this new reality. I guess it is up to us who are early experiencers of it to remind others to recall the complexities of their own lives before judging others based on what Google, Yahoo, Ask or MSN returns as results. (ps, for goodness sake, please don't judge others on what you find in DMOZ or wikipedia.)

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Old 21st December 2005, 07:58 AM   #3
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I think what we're also seeing is that there's finally an outlet for a whole lot of frustrated writers.

Who knew so many people could write? There was never a way to express yourself publicly before the Internet, unless you were a professional writer/journalist, etc.

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Old 21st December 2005, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
I think what we're also seeing is that there's finally an outlet for a whole lot of frustrated writers.
Good point...how many of us would have had someone pay us to write what we write. Maybe five, six? Out of the dozens and dozens of well-respected SEO/SEM writers that are online?

Now expand that even further...everyone has their favorite topical blogger that keeps them entertained. Imagine how few of those bloggers would have ever manged to get picked up in The New Yorker or some other publication.

The printing press may have taken publishing to the masses, but it still wasn't practical. The Internet made publishing practical for the masses. It's very cool. Go Internet!

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Old 21st December 2005, 12:00 PM   #5
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What a great idea for a topic to write about!

And yes, all of this fascinates me too. I've written since I learned to spell and took up Journalism in college. I danced around different jobs, some of which needed a writer but most that did not. Didn't take me long to decide I disliked being a newspaper "stringer" either.

To finally have a blog has been such a pleasure. It's my favorite outlet for expressing and reporting on something if I so choose.

But, as the article says, with the cell phone cameras and laptops, what a person says and does can be quickly picked up and transmitted to outsiders who weren't present at the original situation. There's an increased chance for more people to experience their "15 minutes of fame" but in today's world, they may not be happy about which of those 15 minutes they're famous for!

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Old 22nd December 2005, 10:20 AM   #6
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"...they may not be happy about which of those 15 minutes they're famous for!"

Yeah, just look at the latest Apprentice, Randal!

Nicolette

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Old 22nd December 2005, 10:28 AM   #7
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LOL - so true!

I so wanted HER to win but I understand why she didn't and I understand why Randall didn't want to split the prize, but still...the way it was all handled made him look bad.

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