I’m not an egomaniac, let’s just get that clear. I don’t google myself regularly. In fact, I’m not even sure when I last googled myself … it’s been years. Yes, I actually did used to google myself, but that was largely in search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as my site (at the time) had amazing power to rank high for terms like “how to use a rug doctor” and “how to throw a surprise party” (not to mention a few other things that I’ll just conveniently forget about).
The world changed, I let my blog slide, I changed hostnames for my blog, I stopped looking at analytics, and I definitely stopped googling myself. (Which, incidentally, are all Very Bad SEO Practices™. I had many other things occupying my thoughts.) Suffice to say, when you stop looking, your ability to understand what’s happening goes away.
So imagine my surprise today when I found out that I have an IMDB entry. This is from my former-former-former-former-former-former life (there might be another former in there, I’m losing track), when I worked at Radical Entertainment, writing technical documentation. To be fair, the company had a general policy about everyone getting credit, even if you didn’t work directly on the game, because otherwise the “back office” groups would never get any recognition. It’s sort of like how, if you sit and watch all the credits in a movie (which, yes, I do), you’ll see administrative staff, IT people, the lawyers, anyone who had anything to do with the production and release of the movie, even if they didn’t ever visit a set or touch something that appears on-screen.
According to the IMDB, I’m “known for” MTV Sports: Snowboarding, which was the name it got after ESPN suddenly (and implosively) pulled their license from us, causing some wild problems. I’m listed in “Visual Effects” along with the rest of the Pure3D team, who decided had more active hands in something that went into the game, like, y’know, code. Me? I wrote the technical documentation for the Pure3D libraries, used by the game teams to make their games. Nothing I wrote was ever burned onto a CD (‘cuz that’s the medium we used at the time), or ever seen by a gamer. Actually, I did do some (very limited) quality assurance on it, helping the QA team work through a couple bugs. Oh, and I did have a section in the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED, “shred”) report for 1999, as we had to figure out how to make fast-moving snowboarder players in a multi-player, networked environment all appear in the correct places when network lag was still a major problem. Not that I wrote any of that code, just the report on our work. But hey, we got money for it!
And, to be fair to the IMDB, I would argue that I’m not known for MTV Sports: Snowboarding. Heck, according to Google, I’m more known for all my (now former) Flickr-posted pictures that have been used (and credited) all over the place. Which, actually, I like. I made my pictures Creative Commons, and I’m not a pro, so yeah, that’s what happens. And there’s a lot of pictures out there. ‘Course all the links are broke because I don’t have them on Flickr anymore (siiiiiiiigh), even if the evidence remains.
This, by the way, is not going to change my behaviour. I don’t intend to start googling myself again. Maybe once in a while, for gits and shiggles (or the periodic bit of education), but it’s definitely not going to be a habit. My poor little ego’s been beaten down enough over the last few years, it doesn’t need to be reminded of my overall insignificance.