Drop My Name

Like many modern twenty-somethings, the details of my life are smeared over the walls of the internet. This abundance of information is exacerbated by multitudes of different social media sites. Every so often, I do Google myself, just to see what it says where. Lately, I keep finding new websites that I have no connection with, showing off me and my work. I really don't know how to feel about this.

Oh no! Now everyone knows I draw anatomically-correct dolls!

I grew up in a computer-obsessed household, so I knew from day one what was and was not safe to post. It's not stalking I'm concerned about. On sites that do display a phone number or address for me, I usually jumble several from my past so the final result is not actually valid. No, the part that I find weird are all the websites that harvest my information from elsewhere and use it as their own content.

Most of these are profile aggregators, that found information from my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so forth and used that data to create a page for me on their website. I don't know if these sites are just trying to pad the size of their database, or if they're actually increasing their traffic with these mis-matched profiles that have my name on them. I would assume the former, because I know I'm not that famous. These sites aren't much of a bother. They don't post anything I haven't already shared with the world. They clog up my Google results sometimes, but most are on the second page or further.

Today, however, I found something I was not able to brush off as easily. An article of mine from 2008 was posted on a website where it should not have been. Now, don't get me wrong, I love when people share my work with others. Quote me, link to me all you want. Don't re-publish a copyrighted work without my consent. Seriously, I thought only celebrities had to deal with piracy issues. I'm not even concerned about the loss of royalties, this is just insulting.

I'm not going to name the website here. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I'm going to take action on this. My name is there, but there is no link to the original, legally published version (although the formatting errors were copied). It's really not my best work, either. It's a hair care article about at-home color correction. It was a one-off. I didn't do a second draft.

If you still want to read it for yourself, you can check out the original on Helium, where you'll find a copyright notice and everything. (Grumble, grumble, grumble...)

The other thing I've been working on is trying to make the same information accessible over my many platforms. This is much easier said than done. Certain networks won't "cooperate" with each other, shall we say. I would like the "videos" link on my Facebook to go to my YouTube channel, but if there's a way to do that, I haven't found it yet, nor do I want to put in the research for it.

Even if I am procrastinating on some aspects I suspect will be more complex, I am slowly working on integrating the many facets of my official online presence. For some time now, I've had social media links here on the website, but for the first time today, you'll see beside the title of this entry, you are now able to like and share this specific article.

Soon, I also plan on replacing the commenting system here on the site with the one offered by Facebook. That takes a lot of the administrative work off of my plate in terms of spam and crawlers. Most importantly, though, people will no longer have to create usernames and passwords specific to this site, which I know is a headache. I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to keep current comments as they are when removing that system.