Creative Destruction

March 1, 2007

Something I Need a Name For

Filed under: Content-lite — Robert @ 1:51 pm

I have invented a game. It needs a name. Here’s how you play:

Go to Type, in quotes, your name as you ordinarily use it in public life. In my case, “Robert Hayes”.

Of the first ten results (the first page), how many of the links actually point to you, or something tightly associated with you? In my case, 2 of 10. That’s your score. The higher, the better.

The philosophy of scoring is that we’re measuring how tightly Google binds your name’s text to your life’s presence on the internet. So an article about you or by you counts, a site you own counts, etc.

Some random folks from around the blogosphere, and where they stack up. For people with nicknames AND real names, I’ve listed both, and their real score should be the average of the two:

Barry Deutsch – 7 / Ampersand – 0 / Total: 3.5

Amanda Marcotte – 10

Glenn Reynolds – 10 / Instapundit – 10 / Total: 10

Jeff Goldstein – 8

We could handicap this game; if your name is John Smith and you have a score of 5, you’re obviously more tightly bound to your name than if your name is Pheno Q. Cranowitz and you have a score of 5. I don’t know how we’d do such handicapping fairly, of course. Do I get bonus points because there are a couple of well-known Robert Hayes out there who aren’t me? Does Amanda have points taken away because her high score is due to temporary notoriety?

My inclination is to avoid handicapping and let the chips fall. But I know how all you whiny liberals like to cavil about “fairness”, so I leave the option open to future generations.

Also on the agenda for this highly substantive post: there are cats who look like Hitler.



  1. O.K., I played. The first 30 results on a Google search for Andrew Oh-Willeke are all me. The fact that my last name is virtually unique in the universe and that I don’t blog anonymously certain help.

    Comment by ohwilleke — March 1, 2007 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  2. But do you own a Hitler cat?

    Comment by Robert — March 1, 2007 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  3. My tabby couldn’t conquer the living room, much less Poland.

    Comment by ohwilleke — March 1, 2007 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  4. Multiply by the total number of hits? Or maybe by log10 of the number of hits?

    The name (and it’s one I think you’ll like) is ESQ, which stands for Ego Surfing Quotient.

    Mine is roughly 11 using log10 of the number of hits. Yours is roughly 13 by the same method. Andrew’s is 40. Barry Deutsch’s is roughly 50. Amanda’s is roughly 55. Hmm, I don’t think the log10 version works very well, still too sensitive to the popularity of your name. Also, it is sensitive to the fact that the max score is 10 – George Bush has a score of roughly 1 using the log10 method, as there are ~100,000,000 hits for his name (most of which are probably him).

    Comment by Charles S — March 2, 2007 @ 6:50 am | Reply

  5. A search of my adopted net alias (Brutus) revealed that none of the top twenty hits are for me, which would have been blog posts and comments. My real name, which I prefer to withhold, is very common and none of the top 20 hits refer to me. Adding my middle initial brings about five hits into the top twenty but none into the top ten. Guess my fame and ego surfing quotient (I like that formulation) just aren’t anything for me to worry about. Of course, once it’s discovered that I’ve been burying people in my basement, I’ll acquire serial killer notariety that requires using my full name, including the middle name (not just the initial).

    Comment by Brutus — March 2, 2007 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  6. My score was 10. But then again, my last name is something like the 49,838th most popular in the US and I spell my first name in an unusual way, so I’m probably “cheating”.

    Comment by Dianne — March 2, 2007 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  7. Cheater!

    Comment by Robert — March 2, 2007 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  8. Ego Surfing Quotient works. I like it. So mote it be.

    Comment by Robert — March 2, 2007 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  9. I score a two on the ESQ.

    Good thing my ego has been already crushed beyond the point of caring about my ego. Otherwise, I might be injured by that.

    Finally something for which to thank my various ex-girlfriends! And high school. And various other factors.

    But yesterday when I tried this, I scored a 6. So I believe that due to the vague nature of the Google Page Rank system, your ESQ can vary from day to day.

    Comment by Off Colfax — March 3, 2007 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  10. 1 for my full name, and 1 for my first name.

    Comment by Daran — March 3, 2007 @ 7:48 am | Reply

  11. Off topic: Has anyone here seen this article? I’m curious as to what Rachel and Robert, among others, have to say about it.

    Comment by Dianne — March 5, 2007 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  12. I like prison labor even less than I like illegal immigrant labor. No objection to prisoners working hard, but there’s plenty of work to be done in the context of running the prison itself. Other than that, the article seems like standard we-don’t-know-how-markets-operate reporting. “There’s a labor shortage, we’re doomed!”; nah, there’s not enough people willing to work at a particular wage. Increase the wage, and you’ll have a workforce.

    I also liked the “it’s a skill, they’re born with it” racism (perhaps inadvertent) of the farmer. Joe, if they’re born with it, it isn’t a skill. Skills are learned.

    Comment by Robert — March 5, 2007 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  13. The question then becomes how much do you have to pay to get people to do this job when no coercion is involved? Whatever that amount is, it seems better than using slave labor. Never a Lincoln around when you need one.

    Comment by Dianne — March 5, 2007 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  14. The question then becomes how much do you have to pay to get people to do this job when no coercion is involved?

    About two bucks an hour for migrant workers fresh from the border. About twelve bucks an hour in the open, legal employment market. And seeing as how most farms aren’t exactly in the Fortune 500,000, the open market is not exactly an option.

    And their wage as cited is within the norm for an “inside” job in the Colorado prison system. (I’ll look for the link when I get off work.)

    Comment by Off Colfax — March 5, 2007 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  15. You could get people for less than that. The size of the business isn’t at issue; tiny farms could do fine paying people $10 an hour or $1 an hour, because the demand for fruit is strong – the question is whether the tiny farm will be in fair competition with other providers. If everybody’s labor costs go up, the industry remains viable; if Joe Smith has to pay $10 but AgriCorp can get away with keeping their illegals at $2, then Joe goes out of business.

    BTW, OC, your Internet-stalking girlfriend has linked back to the original Hot 100 post. You should go over there and pitch some woo.

    Comment by Robert — March 5, 2007 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  16. Hmmmm… Consider some woo pitched. (And I got a stalker! T3H W000T!)

    And here’s an article that supports my argument that the prisoner’s wages are within the normative range. Leftists will appreciate that it comes via the World Socialist Web Site. Rightists will take comfort in the fact that they don’t seem to raise too much… Well, you can’t really be a good socialist and raise holy hell, can you?

    Comment by Off Colfax — March 6, 2007 @ 2:36 am | Reply

  17. i googled just my first and last name, and none identifies me. why? because half of a particular country shares my last name. i inserted my legal middle name, and google came up with one hit, and it hit me, as a donor to an international NGO.

    Comment by greywhitie — November 21, 2007 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

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