Friday Rant Day: Googleganger Woes

Hi Writers,
I’m officially declaring Friday Rant Day here on “The Writer’s Perspective.” Got a rant? Come here on Fridays to share a tizzy fit with me.

To start things off, I came across an article about Googlegangers recently. Names that Match Forge a Bond on the Internet and it brought up some of my own unresolved Googleganger issues.

Here’s an excerpt:
Now that the telephone book has been all but replaced by the
minutiae-rich Web, searching out, even stalking, the people who share
one’s name has become a common pastime. Bloggers muse about their
multiple digital selves, known as Google twins or Googlegängers (a term
that was the American Dialect Society’s “most creative” word last year).

The thing about writers is, they need to be found. Preferably easily found, when it comes to their work, and in case someone would like to hire them, their contact info. Well, if you think it’s easier then to find people now via the Internet, you must be blessed with some obscure name. I’ve never really understood the need for pseudonyms, but maybe there is something to be said for employing a nom de plume, after all.

I offer myself up as an example of the problem with googlegangers.

Googleganger #1: The Maria Schneider who tangled with Marlon Brando in the 1960s soft-porn art house flick Last Tango in Paris. So in all propriety, I must pre-warn you that if you google my name, nudie pics of some other not-me Maria Schneider will come up first. You can see why this might present a small problem for me.

Googleganger #2: The Maria Schneider I’m most jealous of is the talented jazz musician Maria Schneider. She also owns the domain mariaschneider.com, which, I think, fully entitles me to hate her. (Petty, I know. I told you it was rant day.)

Googleganger #3: Most disturbing on my googleganger front is Maria Schneider cartoonist and writer for The Onion. I’ve come across several instances of mistaken identity in which she and I have apparently morphed into one and the same person. Here’s one instance on Zoominfo (that photo isn’t me.) Not only do I not work for The Onion, or draw cartoons, I don’t even draw very well, and this strange morping leaves me feeling somehow lacking.

Feel free to add your own sad tales and rants about your doppelgangers. And if you have a good pseudonym for me, don’t hold back, I’d appreciate any ideas. I’m sure Maria Schneider, cartoonist and writer for The Onion, would appreciate it, too.

Keep Writing,
Maria Schneider (but clearly not the only one)
p.s. don’t you just love umlauts?

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15 thoughts on “Friday Rant Day: Googleganger Woes

  1. Sally Hammond

    Hi Maria,
    You could try anglicising it. I googled Mary (and Marie) Tailor and got almost nada. Mary Taylor yields a realtor, a sculptor, a politician and a Christian singer.
    Just a thought.
    Cheers,
    Sally (and yup, my name comes up pretty high on Google)

  2. Therese Szymanski

    There were at least four other mes (people never believe this) when I lived in Michigan and I’ve always imagined their chagrin if they’ve ever been mixed up with me, the lesbian sleaze writer.

    But yes, I mostly come up on a Google, but then a lot of people misspell my name (once, a magazine got it right on the masthead, and wrong all the other times they used it). The misspellings made me put off securing a Web site domain for quite a while. I finally got thereseszymanski.com, which automatically redirects to my primary Web site domain, suggested to me by an Aussie reader: BigBadButch.com.

  3. Lori

    Huge umlaut fan here. Huge. Love the umlaut.

    I’ve contacted one Lori Widmer (to no avail) and a number of Widmers. Some were directly related – others were not and didn’t seem amused. How sad to have been born into a stoic tribe. However, I did connect with some Widmers in New York who own the winery, and the Widmers in Seattle area who own the brewery. At least that’s consistent with what I know of my breed. Alas, no free samples.

    What gets more complicated is that the family name changed when the great-great grandparents left Germany for America in the late 1800s. Went from Vidmar to Widmer. Interesting to no one but me. But now I have another lineage to explore and to be snubbed by… ;))

  4. :Donna

    I’ve never googled myself, so I don’t know how many of me are out there! I DO know there’s another "me" at the gynecologist’s office though! lol

    My suggestion would be to use your middle initial/s if you have one or make up one. If you don’t have a middle initial, then use a letter that sounds good/easy to say. In other words, don’t use Maria S. Schneider ’cause it’s hard to separate the "s" sounds. Two initials would separate you even more. How about something that could incorporate your degree like: Maria B. A. Schneider which also sort of implies Maria, be a Schneider 😉 hehehe Maria B. Schneider sounds kind of good, huh? There’s a bit of assonance there. Or E,G,P,T,V,orZ or any combo for the "two initial" thing? I don’t know…anyway…

    That’s the only suggestion I had. I hope you think of something that makes you happier, my dear 🙂
    : Donna

  5. kerrymichaelwood

    I have proved a grave disappointment when reporting for golf tee times I’ve made by phone and the pro shop people see that I am not the Chicago Cub pitcher who in his earliest years tied a record by striking out 20 Astros. I explain that he was named after me — about 40 years after me. Even though #34’s middle name is Lee, he swiped my domain name that included my middle initial M. There’s yet another Kerry Wood out there whose website begins with "Not the ball player but the tri-athlete." No one seems to have seen my writing efforts and mistaken them for those of the late Canadian author Edgar Allardyce Wood who wrote under the pseudonym Kerry Wood.

  6. Charles Kevin Hess

    With my full name I get some doctors, a few lawyers, a judge, and some salesmen and a CEO. I usually just go by Kevin Hess though which brings up again a lawyer, businessman, and some music fan. All which help to add to my already impressive sense of inadequacy.

  7. Vickie Jenkins

    There seem to be at least a half-dozen Vickie Jenkins’ who are real estate agents. Wonder if I can get a deal? My media training site still pops up on Google’s page 1 though. I suggest you change your name to Maria I’m the famous writer Schneider.

  8. Georganna Hancock

    Poor Maria! I wouldn’t have thought your name to be a problem, but then the nonstandard spelling of mine brought up a Florida porn star at one time. Since then I’ve assaulted the Internet with enough droppings to ensure that no Googlegangers appear within the first 10,000 returns for MY name!

    Nice rant. Enjoy the sun this weekend!

  9. Lisa Abeyta

    I actually feel sorry for the OTHER Lisa Abeyta. She’s a former beauty queen and contestant in the Mrs. America contest.

    I often imagine her chagrin when she thinks of clients Googling her name only to come up with the first page being almost entirely about some fat lady who writes a humor diet column.

  10. Jeff Currie

    Maria, you nust understand that many of us would be taking a step up to be a porn star…

    Always count your blessings – it could be worse. How many Lee Oswalds had to change their name back in 1963?

    You could change your name to Loretta Happybritches. I bet that domain name is available.

    Jeff C

  11. Olivia Schneider

    Betcha didn’t know that if you type in Olivia Schneider the real me comes up!!! Ohh the jealousys you must be feeling!

    -Love you mom!

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