Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do You Google Yourself?

A local reporter in the Twin Cities area ran a story on the news a couple nights ago. Jason DeRusha has a solid grasp of newer technologies and the way digital conversations work. He maintains a blog, Twitter profile and personas on a number of local sites. His question for the other night was - Do you Google yourself?

Good question. I was expecting a number of responses on what the best way to track your online presence would be. I anticipated results pointing to SocialWhoIs, WhosTalkin or even just straight Google Alerts. What I saw for responses was very eye opening.

So much for hope that we're moving into a more connected age. All the more reason to get another laugh out of The Onion's report of a the new site "The Google" for older adults.

What was most striking was the thought that there was a cost associated. First, the basic premise of a search engine is the ability to find terms. This is not a Yellow Pages. Anything and everything can be archived. What's the difference between searching for 'Homemade BBQ Sauces' and a name? It's nothing. There still seems to be a stigma to digital technologies that they only exist for business purposes.

Second, and most striking, is the notion that many of us have taken for granted. If there's a way to monitize errors through digital mediums, it's being exploited. And by Google themselves. If you're curious, try the search for yourself. Take away any notion or experience you may have with digital technologies. Look at the page. Notice the search results filled with so much nonsense. What about the right column that promises information on that name. Voila - it costs money to Google yourself. No distinction between the actual results and the promises to find additional details.

Other than that, I don't know what to make of it. Technology marches onward separating the young from the old. I used to be the only one that could program the VCR in my household. Now, my son knows how to make the television do things I never discovered in 5 years.

Thanks Jason for bringing us something interesting and entertaining. As a bonus, here's a little insight into my now favorite reporter in town.

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