Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vanity Search

In an episode from The Simpsons a few months ago, Marge discovered the Internet and quickly succumbed to the temptation of doing a vanity search, that is searching for your own name. She then exclaims:

Wow, and all this time I thought 'googling' yourself meant the other thing!

I'll admit that for years I've been addicted to it.

I don't just google myself (though Google does make it much easier as you can set up an alert to search for you automatically and email you as soon as you are mentioned). I also check out the other search engines to see if the things I want to show up (such as this blog) are any higher.

There's another Glen Farrelly out there and I've determined he is my nemesis and I want obliterate his results to fourth or fifth page oblivion. There's also a Glen Farrelly who's a football player and I think his results add a cool, rugged dimension to my personality.

Other than the Google vanity alert, there hasn't been any great tools to search for you (even going to Europe after highschool didn't help me ever find myself). It's also possible that you could be searching for information on other people too, but my thoughts on recently developments were focused egotistically.

A few months ago, I tried Zoominfo but was unimpressed. A search for me returns only four individuals all of whom are me. I signed up for the service to customize my results but was unable to.

Lately, has been getting some buzz. It's still invitation only, but last week I left my name and email address and a two days ago I got my invitation. I tried it out and searched for me again. Now the results were all distinct, unique Glen Farrellys - and it returned more Glen Farrellys than Zoom did. Spock uses LinkedIn, MySpace and other sites as their basis for distinguishing people and populating with some profile info. I tried searching for my wife and friends and they were no where to be found, though they are all on LinkedIn and Spock supposedly scours it. Also, I tried to claim the Glen Farrelly identity that was mine by entering my LinkedIn password as requested, but after four attempts I haven't been able to.

So Spock has work to do but for a people search and vanity check, but it is promising.

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