Occasionally I search for people online. I'm always amazed by the number of people who "don't" have any kind of visibility. My kid tells me that most people simply don't do things that end up online, or rarely use the internet as anything but a way to get to wikipedia or facebook. I suspect I have tunnel vision, since ninety-nine (okay, make that maybe eighty) percent of the writers I know are trying everything they can to be all the listings on the first page of search results.
Today I was tweaking the meta data on my blog--I try to do it at least once a year--and I was running a search to see what was already out there. Stuff like "does my picture show up with my blog?" (took me days to figure out how to do that, lol), and what words the search engines are picking up. And for the first time (sometimes I'm slow) I thought to check yahoo and bing. Everything I do online is pretty much rolled into google, so I forget there are other ways to search. Me and my three name mates were neck and neck on both yahoo and bing, which kind of startled me.
That set me off off on a comparison search for people I know. It hit me--since I "know" the people I was searching for very well, our names are like alternate lives. One person I looked for is probably the most OCD, type A, workaholic retail store manager ever. Her name mate was a driven academic with a platform. My name mates are a realtor/investor, a niche mom and pop boutique store owner and a young golfer--all ways I could have gone had my life taken a different turn at crucial points. It's just weird. Maybe people with the same names are just facets of the whole.