Saturday, November 3, 2007


I was just reading about a new search engine that's in the works, called "Powerset," which led me to this blog post by one of its developers. In it, he mentions that an acquaintance gave him his business card, on which was printed only his first and last name, and nothing else. When the developer asked what his acquaintance's email address was, he said, “Just put my name into any reasonable search engine and my homepage will pop right up.”

I think this is interesting. Used to be, companies would list their websites as "" on advertising materials. Then it became "" and then just "" So now, I think most people just go to Google and type in the company name, rather than all those extra characters; I know for a fact, and without trying it, that if I enter "Adidas" into Google, the first result will be the company website.

So why not have that convenience for people? I have a fairly uncommon name (the blog post above is titled "The Tyranny of the Common Name"), so when you type "Sonya Reasor" into Google, my LinkedIn profile comes up first; in Yahoo's search engine, my homepage comes up first. Either way, I'm findable.

But the other day, a friend and I were talking about how sometimes, when you're bored, you type in the names of people you went to school with, or knew earlier in life, to see if they have any online presence. I feel sure we've all Googled the names of our elementary school friends, right? Well, if I was hoping for my long-ago friends to find me, they'd have to know my current, married name. There are, as of me typing this, only three Google hits for my maiden name, "Sonya Hash." (Yeah, that's a hell of a last name to grow up with).

But by typing that just now, I've probably added a fourth hit, and this one will lead to the real me, not the Sonya Hash who lives in another city and who appears to only be 27 years old. It'll possibly help friends from Kent, where I grew up, locate me - maybe people I knew when I was going to Kentwood High School, or Kentridge Highschool, or even Sequoia Junior High (or Jr High) or Meridian Elementary.

You see what I did there.

Do I want to be "findable"? Sure, why not. It would be nice to hear from someone I knew as a child. Not sure what we'd talk about, but it would be interesting to see what people are up to, especially since I've always avoided high school reunions and the like.

Anyway, the internet is an interesting thing, isn't it? Maybe I'll get some of those cards printed up that have only my name on them.

No comments: