Thursday, June 23, 2005

message in a bloggle

Yesterday, an old friend from graduate school called me and we talked for over an hour. Much of the conversation consisted of mutual updating about what was going on with all kinds of different people that we knew from graduate school. This is, of course, a familiar genre of old-friend conversation. The difference in the current day and age, however, being that the during the conversation, we were also Googling different people as we talked about them. One of the great things about academia is that practically everyone you've met since you started graduate school has a web presence, and so the main issue for tracking them down is more whether their names are Google-proof (e.g., "Elizabeth Nelson", "Brad Smith") or not.

As a different kind of update from the past: In the early days of this blog, another friend from graduate school offered the challenge of whether I could, through a shout-out JFW post to the blogosphere, provoke contact from someone who went to graduate school with us for a year. It did seem a little like putting a message in a bottle and heaving it into the Internet sea, especially since the person's name was at least Google-difficult if not Google-proof. Indeed, after months went by with no answer, my hopes began to dim. But, lo, the following message arrived in my inbox two days ago:
I've googled myself infrequently, but still somewhat recently, and I've only ever come across the Brian Dietz who heads the cable lobby. (My uncle in Florida heard that guy on the radio and had to ask my mother if I had had a career change.) Tonight, though, thanks Courtney's never-ending inquisitiveness and willingness to perform search engine searches for familiar names, we came across "Vegan Porn" in association with "Brian Dietz," and we knew that this wasn't the cable guy (or not likely to be). In fact, we figured we might have finally gotten a positive hit for me. Why it took seventeen months to come across your blog is a bit of a mystery, but if you're still interested in hearing from me, well I'm more than delighted to report in.

[...]

I'm truly touched to know that there are people out there, you especially, who want to get in touch. To be honest, I've often not emailed because I figured I was a faded memory. I'm happy that I'm not...
As I've said before, one of the best consequences of this blog has been that it has led to me hearing from people who I had mostly or entirely lost contact with. Usually, of course this has been as a result of their stumbling across my blog in one random way or another, as opposed to their being the object of an All Points Bloggertin.

4 comments:

A+ said...

Wow, that's very sweet.

Anonymous said...

About the time you retire you will probably get a poem from the Lonely Donut Man.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

I actually got an email last month from a high school friend I hadn't talked to in ages, and had been thinking about at Christmas because I couldn't find a current address to send her a card. She googled me. I am not, as you may have guessed, google-proof. I think I am actually the opposite of google-proof. Do we have a term for that? I'm not the thing where you only get one result, because I've been on the interweb too long. But something.

Anonymous said...

I suggest "Googlicious" (pronounced Google-icious).