Whatever happened to…: Michael Palmer

Whatever happened to…
: Michael Palmer has a great idea: He’s looking for an old friend and colleague; can’t find him; so he’s typing his name into his weblog in hopes this old pal will Google himself, find the mention, follow the link, and send an email. Simple, elegant, brilliant.

If it works, it will qualify as a new Google hack.

Call it “Google Calling.”

I’ll join in. I was cleaning out my basement the other day and was reminded of all kinds of names of old college and high school friends I’ve lost. So I’ll mention their names here just to Google Call them: Jim (James) Herlihy, Steve (Steven) Paulson, Marki (Margaret) Kimble (Street), Charles (Chuck) Larrabbee, Linda Graefing, Allen Barr, Lee Fawkes, Riley Atkins, Janice Rosenberg, Linda Kattwinkel…

If you’re one of these folks and you knew me: Hey, what’s new? Click on the email link on the right…. [via Lockhart Steele]

: Update. In the comments, Anil points to earlier efforts to do the same thing, efforts that reach back in history before weblogs — notably Andy Baio’s page. Mazeltov.

I still say that weblogs have a role here. Weblogs tie many disparate functions and trends on the web together. A weblog becomes your representation of you on the web — as Chris Pirillo said just today:

Blogging is your chance to show the world what you’re like. It’s your own. It’s nobody else’s… it’s life. It’s life online.

There comes a time very soon when your blog represents more than your opinion. It holds your links to others; your photos and videos; and the metadata for your life (you don’t have a soul, you just have metadata). It is you, just you online. Importantly, this will be true not just for web sophisticates but for the masses.

Anil also scolds me (I’m used to it by now) for tying this, like too much else, to both Google and blogging. Tough cookies. A Google search is something everyone but everyone understands today — better than “metadata” or “tags.” As a card-carrying populist, I’m adamantly unapologetic about putting things into popular terms. I’m also not going to take a demerit for acting as if this is new. Of course, nothing is new. But we’re all allowed to discover and share things that are new to us; that is what makes blogs and the blogging community generous and enjoyable.

  • http://anildash.com Anil

    We’ve had pages designed to catch (and get back in touch with) ego surfers since the earliest days of AltaVista in ’97 or so. I know Andy Baio has had a great one, and I remember one of the old-school software guys had one that predated this, maybe as far back as 1995 or 1996. Certainly pre-Google.
    Still a good idea, but I gotta fight the tendency to think every idea should have “google” or “blog” affixed to it so it can be positioned as something new.

  • http://noeljackson.com noel

    To go along with this, and keep track of your own google calling, you can subscribe to an RSS feed with your google search…
    I wrote this script just for this kind of thing:
    http://noeljackson.com/code/googlefeeds/
    I don’t mean to blatantly promote myself, but I think this script is helpful.

  • http://joshsargent.com sarge

    totally agree, my blog holds my links and connections I make everyday with other bloggers and sites…