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Related People: Lady Gaga, Dennis Cooper, Matt Bell

My Google Alerts alerted me to WebMii, which is evidently yet another one of those sites that culls information about folks from the web and consolidates it into a single space so it’s easier to stalk people (perhaps if stalking becomes too easy, it will lose its appeal). For some reason — I don’t know if it’s just because my name (which, because of its distinctiveness, is always me, and nobody else) has appeared a lot more places than it had the last I looked at one of these things, but this one seems a lot more complete than the others I’ve seen. For instance, there are links to a number of my pieces, and my employer’s name actually appears, though only once, because we Google shitty. I do not know why there’s a picture of Odo.

My favorite part is the bizarro list of “related people,” which although mostly a list of other writers with whom I’ve appeared in publications, at readings, or in blogs, also includes Lady Gaga and the Australian olympian Matt Mitcham.

I feel in order for this post not to be ridiculously self-indulgent, I must broaden the conversation beyond, “Hey, look at how much crap I’ve dropped all over the world wide web.” So — what I was thinking about this morning while looking at this profile was: I made a deliberate decision to use my (very Google-able) real name when commenting on blogs, etc, to build my public identity and develop a presence within a community (or set of communities), and I feel like this has resulted in relationships and possibly also certain types of recognition that have been useful (and also pleasurable, fun, engaging, etc.) But I am well aware this also makes me vulnerable, and there are really valid reasons lots of folks prefer to stay more incognito. …This is perhaps becoming a tiresome or cliche conversation, but I am curious to see what some of Big Other’s contributors and readers have to say about how they manage their “web presence” (I feel a bit uncomfortable with some of these terms that reduce this shit to functionalist self-promotion, when for me, it is primarily — or at least additionally — about helping shape and participate in cool communities supporting one another and discussing stimulating and enriching stuff).

4 thoughts on “Related People: Lady Gaga, Dennis Cooper, Matt Bell

  1. I thought my name was pretty distinctive too. Turns out I was wrong. I appear to be a criminal, a character in several works of fiction, a university administrator, a Washington lobbyist, and several other things besides. I rather enjoy the vicarious lives this gives me.

  2. Tim, I know why it found that picture of Odo.

    I use a pseudonym (A D Jameson isn’t my real name). My earliest fiction publications were under my real name. But then I started making music videos, and my real name also belongs to a famous music video director, so…

    Now I don’t really make music videos, and having a pseudonym is often more trouble than it’s worth…but too late now!

  3. Woah. Mii found an old Friendster profile of me. I didn’t even know that site still existed…

    As for my web presence, I generally always comment as “ce.” around the web, because my comments are sometimes more off the cuff, and don’t want them to appear in google searches of me by current or possible employers (e.g. just think if a current employer found my various contributions to Mean Week at HTMLG?). Another reason why you’ll never read anything about my occupation on my blog/twitter/facebook/&c.

    So, I’m somewhat careful about my Google-able identity, basically trying to keep it to my blog/other-social-networking-profiles and various publications, meanwhile allowing myself to still have some more freedom while commenting and sharing/expressing opinion.

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