Dispatches | February 19, 2007

Learning a new word is like buying a new dress, you want to use it the next day, and the great thing about blogs is that it is the perfect place to show off your learnin’.  So here goes: egosurfing, the practice of googling your name to see how many entries you have.  Of course, Wikipedia knows all about it; it’s also called egogoogling, autogoogling, or selfgoogling, but I prefer egosurfing.

I’ll confess.  I’ve egosurfed a number a times.  Truth be told, I might egosurf every couple of months or so.  Kris Somerville gets four pages of entries while Kristine Somerville has a whopping nine.  Of course all of the results are not mine.  A few belong to another Kristine Somerville who is a principal in Glen, New York.  As names go, though, mine is different enough to keep my self-search uncluttered with the news of others.  I googled the poet Rodney Jones, our up-coming Murry’s dinner reader, and discovered that he has to share the results of his search with wrestler Rodney and skater Rodney and guitarist Rodney and US Army Specialist Rodney.

I’m also lucky that my fellow Kristine/Kris Somerville’s seem to be up-standing citizens.  One is a middle school student who was just inducted into the National Junior Honors Society.  Our Editors’ Prize coordinator Michael Kardos who is on the job market recently googled himself to make sure there wasn’t a like-named evil doer with whom he might be confused.

Many of my entries are surprises.  I’ve found my times for 5k runs that I’ve forgotten about, and, for some odd reason, MU’s student newspaper put up a ten-year old story about the hazards of bike riding downtown, in which I’m quoted as saying, “You take your life into your own hands.”  I used to publish stories and poems and essays in literary magazines.  Several of them are making their archives available online.  So now I can revisit my glory days of when I was writing and publishing creative work — the time before a four-and-four teaching load.  Most of my recent entries are my visual features, editorials, book reviews, and blogs for The Missouri Review, work that I’m genuinely proud of.  

So yes, I’m guilty of the modern technological equivalent of reflection gazing.  It helps me solve my Existential quandary:  I am googleable, therefore I am.

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