A while ago I did a search for my name on Google to check in with my Internet self. It's time to hit "search" again to see how busy I've been.
According to LinkedIn, I still have my old job in Dallas/Fort Worth, workin' away at strategic procurement for HP. But according to my Google profile, I also have something to do with movies in Santa Monica. When I'm not studying hard at the UC Berkeley School of Information I'm marrying Tabby Biddle, for some reason using the name Leland Schneider.
The New York Times knows I was a producer on Front Page and senior producer on Strange Universe. Hollywood.com knows that I wrote episodes of ThunderCats, and mentions that I did a documentary about Apollo 13. In 1993, they say, I did one for E! called In Censors We Trust. Back then, E! was in black and white and hosted by Lucille Ball, or it might have been a very young Flavor Flav. Those true credits appear with "The Hottest Alien Babes Ever," which I don't really remember working on. Maybe those alien babes erased my memory of it. I hope they were gentle.
If you add up all three of my Twitter personalities (leeschneider, xree and docuguy) I have 312 followers. Hey, catching up on you, Mr. Ashton Kutcher (3,449,823 followers).
We can laugh at these "errors" Google makes when you search for my name, but it makes me wonder, how do they rank all those websites and blogs? I did some investigation, checking with Google's worldwide headquarters located at Praha City Center, Klimentska 46, in the Czech Republic. Here's what I found out from them. The Google ranking system begins with a live goat, which they sacrifice over a bonfire. Then 27 virgins are brought in to read the charred entrails using 3D glasses. Oh, and they use some kind of algorithm too.
Even though the ranking system is a little spooky, Google has changed my Internet life. When you Google my name with the word "blog" or "500 words" I can get first page ranking. And starting my other blog, the user-content driven www.chancehappens.com, has offered the occasion to break out the pinot noir sometimes to celebrate its even better ranking.
But it's strange to think that online I don't own my own name and I certainly don't own what I write. People I don't know are re-posting these words and Tweeting them. Writing for the Huffington Post has also boosted things, sending what I write far and wide, although I have gotten a few negative comments from curmudgeonly folks who don't like adorable puppies, Oprah or East-West medicine.
The take-home for me is that there's only one thing more volatile than the stock market, and that's what constitutes a hot search on Google. As I type, the number one search on Google is Maia Campbell -- and that will surely change by the time you read this.
Now I have to get back to posting my rabidly devotional You Tube video about Oasis.