It’s been a crazy week at work, and I might tell a few stories in a little bit. For now, I’d like to indulge in a little external introspection.
A year ago, I was king. I ego-search for my name every once in a while — just for kicks — and I’m disappointed about how far I’ve fallen.
For a long time, I was numero uno (or at least on the first few pages) whenever anyone looked for my name (Ryan Olson) on Google. That wasn’t even my blog — it was my lonely GeoCities page that I essentially dropped when Yahoo! dropped FTP access. Sadly those days are no more.
I was on top of the heap, top dog, and now where am I at? My first hit comes at around 107 (for a Picnic Day message I wrote four years ago). My oh-so-new RTOmedia.com clocks in at around 656 out of 6,890 hits. BTW, kudos to Gimpysoft — that Ryan’s all over the place.
Now what’s sadder — the fact that I rank so lowly in Google, or the fact that I’m whining about it?
So for now if anyone (and to be honest I don’t know who) trying to find my site wouldn’t go that route. I guess the one sense that I do get from digging through all those Ryan Olsons — that range from athletes to programmers to possible offenders — is the sense of wonder at how many different lives people with the same name are living. Of course they’re not me, but there’s a common bond solely because of the same name. That’s been addressed in an episode of This American Life.
As I filter through the chaff of the other Ryans to find the wheat-y identity of myself, I come upon a few reminders of my past which stir emotions and deep memories that I don’t often dwell on.
Some of the hits are off beat — like Pep Band articles or meeting minutes of a story I covered. Still some are reminders of how utterly forgettable I am — a comments page of a former collegiate newspaper colleague has my identity mistaken with another. Yet still others are reminders of dark chapters — some message archive included some comments about decisions that were made at the Guardian.
It’s those memories that upset me the most. I, like many others I think, have developed a positive version of themselves. These links to the past are reminders that we are not infallible. It’s definitely a different perspective and one I’m not all that comfortable with at times.