I Googled myself today. I avoid most of the online social networking things. (I’m pretty sure Facebook is how the zombie virus is going to spread. No, really, a series of flashing lights and them bam, the zombie horde is born, but that’s another post.) So because I don’t do the Facebook thing I was curious what information was out there on the web about me. What information would employers, editors, agents etc., find if they typed my name into the all-powerful Google? Inquiring mind wanted to know. Plus I was procrastinating, again.
I found the things I expected, my blog, my LinkedIn profile, my Twitter account, and a reference to a friend’s book that I edited. But what I found really interesting were the images. Not the ones of me (although there were a few) but the ones about other people named Laura Kostur. It was neat to discover someone who shares my name, and then to actually see them. I found a Laura Kostur who works for a wine company in Manitoba, another in Jacksonville Florida, and a third on Facebook. (I couldn’t find more information about her because of my Facebook boycott. I may have to re-think my stance on this, and find another way to prevent my zombification).
As far as I know I’m not related to any of the other Laura Kosturs, we just happen to share a name. So cool. Once I was done snooping in other people’s lives I started to wonder though…what if I’d found something bad? What if there was a Laura Kostur who was wanted by the police, or had a porn site? Do we have any rights to how people use our name? I think I’m going to ask Google. Inquiring mind wants to know.
Imagine a character who is going through an identity crisis. The character Googles themselves and finds a list of people who share their name. How would they react? Would they be inspired to try activities enjoyed by others of their name? Would they dedicate themselves to being completely different from their cognomen? Would they become obsessed with doing anything to drive their own Google ranking above their namesake’s? Or would the search end in a killing spree with the character bent on the total destruction of those sharing their moniker?
Take a moment to Google yourself for inspiration then spend twenty minutes exploring how your character handles sharing a handle.
NB. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the obsessed character’s murder spree increased the internet fame of their name, but not them, driving the results for them ever downward in search ranking? Then their only way back into the rankings and to gain recognition as a unique person would be to confess to the series of murders? I’m going to try writing that scenario now. I love it when inspiration strikes.