By Carolina S. Ruiz Austria

The word "Heresy"

was used by Irenaeus in Contra Haereses to discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. It has no purely objective meaning without an authoritative system of dogma.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Art of Googling and Ego Surfing

Now a word, googling is now familiar to Internet fandom as "looking up somebody's name in the Google search engine." On the other hand, if you google yourself, your'e supposedly egosurfing. The first time I was told by somebody that they "googled" me before meeting me, I kind of found it creepy but the feeling soon passed when I realized I had done the same with various authors, celebrities and former classmates in the past. But was it the same? I'm no celebrity. I never even met this person before but now we are sort of classmates or "batch mates" in the same graduate school and since we have gotten to know each other better, we are friends.

It got me thinking about who could be googling me out there so I tried egosurfing. True enough, apart from the real work I do and organizations I work with who have validly placed some of my information out there, there were a few bordering on the libelous. Most were just simply mean. The thread where I was totally "flamed" by pro-lifers on the PCIJ website is still there on the Internet, preserved forever in public space?

I know it sounds a bit paranoid. I also know I shouldn't really be surprised anymore. A few years ago a friend actually forwarded similar stuff to me on a "pro-life" website where I was supposedly a "UNFPA funded abortionist."

The subject came up again when I was with a couple of more graduate school friends and one of them confessed she googled the lot of us (her classmates) but by this time, I wasn't as freaked out. (Maybe because by then I already did it to other people I knew? Or that I already "egosurfed" ?)

The most interesting part of egosurfing though is finding about people with the same name. With all due respect to these people, I am taking great liberty in placing heir information here. However I take consolation from the fact that they already put this information "out there," in the internet. One of them is a Computer Science Professor in Worcester, MA another is a Chilean Supermodel another a Spanish Skiing Champion and yet another is a Women's College Basketball player at University of California, Davis.

I suppose it depends on how "common" your name is but what are the odds of having so many "accomplished" women named like you? I mean I looked them up and these women are at the top of their careers.(Plus this Chilean supermodel is drop dead gorgeous) Geesh. Its all very humbling actually. It makes feel like the "lesser" "Carolina Ruiz!" (I hope they find it also cool to have the same name as an egosurfing feminist lawyer/activist in graduate school.) Now for the really paranoid (with stalker tendencies) ;-) I recommend : which I haven't tried myself but looks potentially creepy and undoubtedly counts as "egosurfing" par exellence.


Blogger Cheryl said...

I found this posting by googling you, Carolina. Is that irony or what?! Btw, your blog is great fun!

10:19 PM  

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