Call me Ishmael.1

Thom has a post talking about his ranking in Google searches for 'thom' and 'hickey'. And, given the importance of the web to the way that people search for information he suggests that it is probably not helpful to organizations, and their employees, to be poorly findable on the web. He draws on a post from Jon Udell which, among other things, argues that it would be useful to have better expanatory context for why people rank well.

For example, it would be interesting - to me anyway ;-) - to know what is at play in the relative positions of the librarian Lorcan Dempsey (1, 4, 5, 7), the architect Lorcan O'Herlihy (2) and the actor Lorcan Cranitch (6,8) in a Google search on Lorcan.

Of course, Lorcan is not the most common name in the world. There are more Dempseys than Lorcans, and the librarian (5, 10) follows the boxer Jack, the actor Patrick and an Ohio law firm. This prompted me to think about a post by Nicholas Carr some time ago:

Here's a sign of the times. Expectant parents are beginning to google prospective baby names to ensure that their kids won't face too much competition in securing a high search rank. The Wall Street Journal reports on one example of a couple using search engine optimization in picking a name: ... [Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: Womb-based SEO]

And to make a more general point, the web is making us think more about 'handles'. Whether it is parents thinking about naming their children, folks thinking about being being more consistent in their names, and lots of people thinking about identifiers.

Comments: 1

Jul 02, 2007
Merrilee Proffitt

I attended a birthday party for a one year old this weekend. The birthday girl is named Zolie, and guests included Zenia, Sianna, Jake Eddie (not too unusual, but the regular employment of a double name is), and my own Karydis. Sebastian was the odd man out with a very normal name. Sign of the times.