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cultural implication of Google

Let me admit right off the bat that this is a stupid topic and just the sort of thing for computer geeks to waste several hours on.

As anyone who has attempted to look up an old friend (or anyone really) knows, the ability to find a person on Google is somewhat positively correlated with the uncommonness of the person's name.  "Robert Jones" would produce far too much noise to sort through while "Chaniqua Madderhanner" should produce a minimum of hits, which would likely involve your friend.

Obviously it is too late for all of us, but do you think that parents of new children should attempt to give their kids uncommon names to make future text searching easier?  Maybe you feel the opposite way- give your kid the most common name you can think of to give him some internet anonymity.

name withheld out of cowardice
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

That's one of the reasons for the popularity of made-up names for products and companies these days.  Instead of being called "Clarity Insurance Co", you call yourself "Clarica".  Instead of being called "Philip Morris" you become "Altria".  Instead of calling your car a "Mustang", you call it "Alero".  More unique when searching online (not to mention, easier to protect as a trademark).

andrewm
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

My Daughter has a very unique name and I was able to register it as a domain name without a problem.

I don't have any content there yet, and at this rate, I probably never will.  But maybe when she's older, she'll want it for blogging...

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

No one ever has any trouble finding me.

John Smith
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Names to avoid calling your son:

Dick, Yves, Sue


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Nah, they were searching for me.

John Smith
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"That's one of the reasons for the popularity of made-up names for products and companies these days. "

Actually.. I thought that was to make trademarking easier.

I think it runs counter to a lot of simple principles of naminnig (see Positioning: the battle for your mind,  for good analysis)

I think it works much better to pick two COMMON words and then COMBINE them to make an uncommon name.

Eg:  I know someone who's web dev company was called DIAMOND BULLET.  Two, easy to remember, familiar, easily spelled words, but occurring together in a most unusual way.

I wish I"d know that when I came up with our name. I THOUGHT it was easy to spell, but apparently not so ...for some people.

Mr. Analogy
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"I don't have any content there yet, and at this rate, I probably never will.  But maybe when she's older, she'll want it for blogging... "

Funny, yet sad.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Ooh, ooh, I've got it. Let's assign every newborn a URL instead of a name. Oh wait, that's already been done with social security numbers and people still keep giving the kids those pesky names.

old_timer
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Anybody who inflicts names on his children according to his ideas of the state of the internet in twenty years time should be forcibly sterilized.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

That might be closing the barn door after the what is it, Cows, Horses? have left.

name withheld out of cowardice
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

<<Anybody who inflicts names on his children according to his ideas of the state of the internet in twenty years time should be forcibly sterilized. >>

Comment of the century ;-)

Karthik
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I tried something like this a while back.

type in 'toowoombachick' into the browser and the only hits are my posts. I am still not sure if I really want to be that visible, but it struck me as an interesting idea.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Companies often use made-up words for names because the made-up word can be trademarked more easily than a common word. For example, Microsoft could not trademark "Windows" or "Word", but I think they could trademark "Microsoft Windows" and "Microsoft Word".

runtime
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

My daughter is named a@zi$*aq.
Works equally well as password.
You have to think of all the angles.

son of parnas
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

This http://www.yournotme.com/ is fun(ish. for about 12 seconds).  It lets you know how many people you share a name with in the UK.




There are just shy of 500 of me.

Bleh
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

One of my favorite music band is called "Download".

It's always nice to try to find info on them on Google :)

Anonymouche
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

My daughter, born a couple of weeks ago, has a very common surname (like me), but a unique enough first name that I was able to register her name as a .com domain.

I'm using it at the moment for uploading photos, etc, but I reckon she'll like it in a few years when she can have an email address on her own domain, rather than a hotmail one.

Steve Jones (UK)
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Or maybe giving names having only letters ADGJMPTW
in case people continue adding more and more
features into phones.

Imagine your kid becomes new Madonna or Eminem and
people could vote their favourite star with cell phones. Or
one day we could vote presidents this way. Now, having
only one-click letters could help win the elections by a vote
or two, especially in some rural areas.

VPC
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Now there's a thing - according to "yournotme"  there are 2 people with my name and 9 with my surname.  Not bad.

(There are actually at least 3 with my name but the youngest one's 5 years old so I think we can let them off - it's the 2 people with my surname I can't account for that interests me).

... and yes if I search for my usual form of name I do turn up on the first page of a google search - for work on searching the google.co.uk but (cue twilight zone music) on a post here last June on google.com.  I didn't even remember posting here under my own name!

a cynic writes...
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Wow - classic collection of stereotypical geeks.

Obviously the opposite point of view is to name your child "John Smith" to enable them to lose themselves in the crowd. ;-)

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hmmm... 12,872 of me in the U.K...

I've always figured that if a hotel screws me really bad, I'll just organize the first annual David Jones convention and invite all of my namesakes...

... and book it into said hotel. :-)

David Jones
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Actually,  I'm reminded of the time where my father ended up switching seats with someone in an aeroplane - They had the same first name, middle initial, and last name;  and were on the same flight... (between two cities in New Zealand;  so it wouldn't have even been a particularly big plane)

Bleh
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I suppose someone has to ask...is anyone here called Dave Gorman?

a cynic writes...
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dear namesake,
                        You will be surprised but our very common common names, shared by many famous people like punk stars, geneticists, marathon runners and JOS posters, still had nobody registering .org in 1999. I actually reserved it but it was too complicated to get round to paying for, so somebody else took it a year later.

                        With the amount of dictionary spam there is now I am retrospectively glad I wasn't efficient enough to follow through.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

0 people with my name. Well, go figure..

one meeeellion dollars!
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

According to the site, there are 33 Tapiwas living in the UK. None though when I use my surname.

Hmm.... note to self... should start living

Tapiwa
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

> My Daughter has a very unique name

Not grammatically possible. Either her name is unique or it isn't. "Very uncommon", sure, maybe even "unique".

Sorry. Pet hate.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Hey, Philo - myself, my father, my grandfather and my son all share the same (common) first name and (uncommon) surname.  Does that count?

BTW - 147 Dave Gormans.  Just think he could saved all that time, credit card bills,  the shows, the telly series, the book...(continues p.94)

a cynic writes...
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

David Jones was David Bowie's real name.  He changed it so as not to be confused with David Jones of "Monkees" fame.

name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Trivia: saw The Monkees in oncert once, and they were just like the TV show (lots of gags and stuff as well as songs). One of the best concerts I've ever been to, I think.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

possibly embarassing admission:  There was a big conflict on the show because they had official hit-makers writing the songs but Mike Nesmith wanted to perform his own songs.  They let him to some extent late in the series.  I actually liked them.

name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Name withheld out of cowardice or age withheld out of cowardice?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

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