I Googled myself this week. For those of you who might not be online, what this means is I conducted an Internet search of references to my name.
Because my career depends in part on ongoing Internet mentions of this hobby newspaper, my blog, books and the like, it is important that I know what pops up when someone enters my name.
The first reference to pop up is not me but a New York attorney.
The first reference to me that truly was me took me to a Web site that sells out-of-print books. I am glad to find out that earlier editions of North Americn Coins and Prices are still trading online. They aren’t worth much, but it is still gratifying to know that something I did years ago has residual value.
The current edition is the 18th. The 19th edition will be released this summer. I see the price of the 17th edition is $3.21. Original issue price was $22.99, so it is easy to see that this will never be a candidate for the rare book aisle. The 12th edition is $1.99.
I wasn’t surprised that book references would pop in first. After all, there are a lot of editions to this particular book and book selling Web sites frequently mention them. My name is also on Coin Digest, but I must have looked at the wrong mentions because I did not see a single reference to this title this time.
My biggest surprise was what I consider to be a disproportionately large number of World Coin News references. I have been editor and/or a contributor to World Coin News for many years. It is always gratifying to be noticed for this work, but from my sense of what I have contributed to that paper over the years compared to what I have accomplished in Numismatic News, it struck me that World Coin News was better at getting material to rank highly in online searches. Why that is exactly I don’t know. It will become a topic of internal discussions at some point if I decide to bring it up.
Online searches have an interesting way of grabbing a reference. Sometimes my first name is divided from my last name, but for some reason or other there is a mention of Harper in the same item, so the search engine brings it up for me to examine. That’s why you can spend a lot of time looking through things online to find what you really are looking for. Obviously, the number of people that share my first name is far larger than the number that share both names.
Overall, I wasn’t displeased to see what I found. My professional references seem appropriate. There are no mass murderers or bank robbers running around with my name. There seem to be a few smart people writing about topics like optical tolerancing that are way beyond my abilities. My acquaintance with optics begins and ends with my biennial eye exam, which interestingly is this week.
I put in another name just to see what sort of mixture of references would turn up. And as was true in my case, there are multiple people with the same name doing different things. Both sets of references seem pretty routine.
What does a Google search turn up for your name? You don’t have Internet? No matter. That won’t prevent a Google search from turning up something.