Sunday, August 11, 2013

Google Presence Tech Tip

My name is a very common one, which has caused confusion in real life as a matter of fact. I went to junior high with another girl named Laura Gibbs, and that led to some very strange phone calls. For a while, there was another woman at OU named Laura Gibbs, and that also led to some phone and email mishaps. Online, there are lots of people named Laura Gibbs, but because I have been publishing webpages for many years (since back in November, 1998 to be precise!), I usually show up on the first page of search results for my name, along with a lawyer named Laura Gibbs, and an artist named Laura Gibbs (she's a really cool artist... I wish I shared her talent as well as her name), and also a medical doctor. There used to be a television reporter, but I don't know what's happened to her. When you add "Oklahoma" or "University of Oklahoma," I am always at the top of the list and people can find very current information about me, like my Google+ profile page, my websites at, my blogs, etc.

It's funny because some old stuff shows up on the first page too, like a "Latin Insults" handout from back in 1999, the year that I first came to OU (I was originally a professor in the Classics department). All these years later, people are still finding that handout and using it, and I get emails about it periodically. Which is fine with me: in fact, I think it's hilarious! People will sometimes write and ask me to help them translate an insult into Latin, or to help them in choosing a Latin tattoo, which I think is very charming. So, while there are all kinds of sinister stories you can hear about life online, I have nothing but good things to say.

For that more sinister side of life online, here's a hilarious song and video from Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (and, as celebrities, I can only imagine what they experience when they Google themselves...).

I Google You:

I Google you
Late at night
When I don't know what to do.
I find photos
You've forgotten
You were in,
Put up by your friends.

I Google you
When the day is done
And everything is through.
I read your journal
That you kept
That month in France.
I've watched you dance,

And I'm pleased
Your name is practically unique;
It's only you and
A would-be PhD in Chesapeake
Who writes papers on
The structure of the sun.
I've read each one.

I know that I
Should let you fade
But there's that box
And there's your name;
Somehow it never makes the pain
Grow less or fade or disappear.
I think that I should save my soul
And I should crawl back in my hole,
But it's too easy just to fold
And type your name again.
I fear
I Google you
Whenever I'm alone and feeling blue,
And each scrap of information
That I gather
Says you've found somebody new,
And it really shouldn't matter,
Ought to blow up my computer,
But instead….
I Google you.

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