Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tooting My Horn Tuesday on Googling

It started innocently enough. I Googled myself once, just to see what would come up.

Then, I started Googling myself about once a week. Now, I can't go to sleep at night until I've Googled myself. Pathetic. But there's a rationale behind my narcissism. I mean, besides the obvious coolness of seeing "Cathy C. Hall" and Results numbering 214,000, give or take 200,000.

I like to see what I've been up to in the wide, wide web world. Today, for instance, I found my name leading the list of contributors to the Cup of Comfort Book of Christmas Prayer (Whee!). I thought my story would be in the book (due to be released in October, plenty of time for holiday shopping), but I don't like to count my contracts (or toot my horn) till I have intangible proof. So, finding that post on the Cup of Comfort Blog kinda made my day.

But there's more to Googling than coming upon surprises like that. Sometimes, I find my name mentioned on someone's blog. And then I like to scurry over and take a peek, maybe leave a nice comment. It's the polite thing to do...unless it's a bogus entry.

Yesterday, I noticed a peculiar Google result, with my name cavalierly thrown in amidst other names and words. Not writerly looking at all, at all. Hmmm, I thought, that's funny. But I wasn't laughing when I clicked on it and all kinds of crazy warning messages started opening.

Quick as a flash, I shut things down and proceeded to hyperventilate. What the heck? I suppose that's a new virus bait...throwing in someone's name randomly, hoping that the someone will click on the result and open who knows what.

So, vanity has its price. I got out safely. But I wanted you to be extra careful out there, Googling yourself. Not that you're in the habit, but, you know, just in case you've tried it...once or twice.