Search me!

27 Apr

Paul Taylor of the Financial Times has been trying out some new search tools designed to find people or check their digital footprint. He seems to have found more use for Spock than I can (it’s still in beta).

I still find Google most useful because I have the toolbar on each PC I use, and because Google favours blog entries over static web content. One example should demonstrate this: take Katya Trubilova, a final year student who has blogged as part of her dissertation work. It helps that she doesn’t have a common anglo-saxon name, but she owns the Google search result on her name and we can learn quite a lot about the life of an Estonian studying in Yorkshire. She’s also on LinkedIn (though her profile is a year out of date).

Facebook has become such an unremarkable aspect of our everyday lives (sorry about us and them, but most people I come across exist on Facebook) that the efficiency of its search often goes unnoticed. It works because it does more than return names from a database; it filters these names through several layers. First, those I’m already friends with. Second, those in my existing networks (eg by location). Third, friends of friends and so on. It’s so efficient that it rarely lets me down – and then probably only because the Gillian I’m looking for calls herself Gill. What’s in a name? A whole lot of personal brand and reputation assets.

3 Responses to “Search me!”

  1. Katya 28/04/2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Richard,
    It’s always nice to become a small case study in your blog. This time I learnt how Google can be extremely irritating. I made a mistake then I created the LinkedIn profile second time without checking if I already had it. I forgot that I signed up to LinkedIn when I was on a placement, because I didn’t really use it till this year. For some unexplainable reasons when you google my name this out of date Linkedin profile is coming up first instead of the new one. I can’t delete it, because it was created with a working email address which doesn’t exist anymore. Here is the link to my new profile
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/7/7a7/420
    Hopefully, LinkedIn customer service will help me get rid of my old profile. Otherwise, the quality of my Google Juice is going to be considerably diluted.

  2. Richard Bailey 28/04/2008 at 2:22 pm #

    It’s a powerful and potentially worrying thought: that this instant publishing space is not to be confused with a disposable one. Google has a long memory and it can be hard to undo things that are out there.

  3. Sean Fleming 01/05/2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Depends what browser you’re using but, while Google’s toolbar is OK, it’s very resource hungry and doesn’t add anything IE7 doesn’t have as standard.
    We’ve deleted it off our machines as part of an attempt to get as much unnecessary bloatware out of things as possible.
    Nice blog, by the way.
    I lecture (part-time) in PR at Thames Valley Uni. I might direct some of my brighter students here, if that’s OK with you.
    All the best.
    Sean

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