Wednesday, December 15, 2004

If you cannot be Googled, do you exist?

I read this article in the New York Times about Googling people a while back. Basically Google is so good that people are using it to research other people. One example given was about a rentor Googling prospective renters. She found things like criminal records, etc. Another women was trying unseccessfully to be unGooglable. She had some stuff on the web at one time and had managed to have this removed, but the info remained in Google's cache.

Now how awesome is Google? If they cache all that stuff, can you imagine the storage capabilities? They must store half of the web.

Further to all of this, Google is now entering into agreements to make library material available through the search engine. They're scanning in books that can then be included in searches and viewed online. If this is half as good as Amazon's online book viewing engine it will be amazing. (If your credit card details are in your Amazon profile, you can page through "virtual books" online for free.)

So back to my original thought. I find myself Googling many people I meet and these days am quite surprised not to find people online. When I don't find anything about someone I Google, I get suspicious: can they be real?! I have a number of entries relating to work stuff (on corporate websites), articles I have had published (Business Day, Sunday Times, Independent, etc), conferences I have spoken at, university research, etc. But perhaps I am just being a Google snob...

Now further to this profiling thing, I mirror my blog on Blogspot, powered by Blogger. Purely because blogger is absolutely amazing software and allows functionality and formatting undreamt of on Mweb. Much for me yet to explore related to this. Blogger is now owned by Google. Which is pretty awesome for the guys who started it: when I first came across them in New York in 2001, they were raising funds for operations and new servers through their website. Blogger is in no small way partly responsible for the take off of blogs. But further to this, imagine all the info in Blogger integrated with the power of Google. Already this allows instantaneous syndication and rss / xml feeds onto the web.

My Blogger-powered blog can be viewed at If Mweb had even bothered to respond to my technical queries I might feel guilty about this plug, but since they did not, I certainly do not.

For those reading this on my Blogspot mirror, my Mweb mirror can be found at

Are you Googlable? If not, do you really exist?

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