This is a very cool article from David at 37signals. In a way it relates back to drive, and how important drive is, regardless of its origin, to success.
* You are viewing the archive for May, 2008
“John Wilson” of whereisjohnwilson.com moves back up to page two on the Google results page when you type John Wilson directly into Google.
About nine months ago this blog was the first link on page two, and then for some unexpected reason I moved all the way down to page six. That was incredibly disheartening, and it actually led to me slowing down on posts and attention to the blog. Now that I have switched it over to WordPress and away from GoDaddy (thank God) I have been picked back up somehow by the Google spiders.
I’m certainly glad to be back, here is some proof:
Jim Killeen’s film Google Me is a documentary feature film now in production, explores the connection between a person’s name, their identity, and the underlying human condition that unites us all. — From Jim’s website
I had the opportunity to ask Jim some questions about his upcoming movie, name recognition, search engine optimization and even the social aspects of Google.
- Question:On your website there is a quote that says, “It all started when I Googled my name.” Tell me where you were on that search and how it gave you the idea for your movie.
- Question:Was Google the main way you found other Jim Killeens? If not, what other means did you use that were effective? Or ineffective?
Answer:My arbitrary rule was that they had to be found as ‘Jim Killeen’ through Google. Google has become ubiquitous in our society. They are so vast and have worked to shape what search is, that I felt they were the most natural way for me to do my search first and foremost, but also have a strong story line of how technology has changed the way we operate daily, and at what cost? I knew I wasn’t going to go through phone books city by city…it’s a film about how this technology enables a search like mine to even take place.
- Question:How did people react when you were able to pull their information from the Internet to “track them down?”
Answer:People had a variety of reactions when first contacted. It helped that we posted a trailer for the film right away. People (Jim Killeen’s really) could go and see that we were for real and professional and had a certain amount of production value, so that helped make the difference in several cases between getting and not getting the interview. Also, our group of JK’s is a bit self selecting; the guys that said yes were more inclined to have personalities that matched the spirit of the production, namely gamers that could roll with the punches of a crazy filmmaker who wants to show up at your house and film you, and oh, by the way, he’s really only interested in you because of your name.
- Question:From the Freakonomics blog, there is a post about video as the next digital resume. Do you think “Google Me” will be a validation of this theory?
Answer:It seems that we are all so media savvy today that video is a natural extension of how people can get the message out about themselves. One blogger called me a genius because I am branding my name. Well, that will be a happy byproduct at best. My first goal is to make a great movie, and the rest is cool, but really just gravy. People sniff it right out if you are posturing or trying to be interesting. Viewers are drawn in by someone who is interested, not trying to be interesting. So for me, I am genuinely interested in these other JK’s, and hopefully that will help draw people in and allow them to see some of the more universal elements of the film that extend beyond people named Jim Killeen. But at the same time there is a bit of dichotomy going on here; I am very aware that the tail on something like this is infinite. This movie will always be linked to me, and that adds some pressure, and must be completely ignored while actually creating the film. Otherwise you paralyze yourself into a box of watching what you are doing while you are doing it and you have just succumb to being interesting.
- Question:In the film industry, how important is name recognition and what part does having a recognizable or distinct name play in finding work?
Answer:Well, as one product placement person said to me ‘If Brad Pitt were narrating, I could get you money’. Brad Pitt ain’t narrating. Stars get movies made, get movies money, and get movies distributed. Period. I have no names, but a high concept that does have name recognition in Google. So that helps. I started out as an actor, and like thousands of others, couldn’t make a living at it. So, I’ve fought the ridiculous, unnatural game of competing against sixty others dudes to see who can hold the Doritos bag the best. But at the same time I didn’t want to do something gimmicky to try to get ahead. So I studied a lot, auditioned a little, and worked hardly at all. But I did do an Oscar Meyer commercial where I ran out of the weiner mobile as the back end of a horse, so I’ve got that going for me…forever.
- Question:What about being at the top of the Google rankings?
Answer:Top of the Google rankings…..hmmmmm, pretty cool.
We didn’t do any SEO, or anything like that. We just posted a bunch of links from blogs and videos online. There was enough interest generated that way to rocket us up the search results!! Haha. I think getting mentioned in some blogs early on helped a lot.
- Question:What is the overall message of “Google Me” and what do you see audiences taking away from the film.
Answer:Overall, I think people will take away from ‘Google Me’ that we live in a world where we are all connected. In a good way. Where people will pick you up from the airport and put you up in there house. They will feed you. They will look at there lives differently because you asked them something about what their attitudes and opinions of life are. I also hope that people will see that the world is not a place where danger lurks around every corner and people are out to get you. So I found that people are genuinely good and interested in helping.
Answer:I think we all have ‘Googled’ ourselves. There is a natural curiosity to wonder who the other fellow is with your name. Who is he? What’s he all about? I found it more and more intriguing until finally saying ‘this will make a great movie’. So my concept is really an extension of what people are already doing, taken to an extreme degree.
I can’t seem to get the database out of godaddy, so I’m going to sum up everything I wrote about last year, in reverse order, in a few posts (which is kinda sad I guess):
- Before I was listed on Google there were 109,000,000 posts in front of me
- (I still need a logo)
- Seth Godin said I wouldn’t last (btw… I outlasted his Dip Blog)
- I was inspired by people who use domain finders to name their children
- I explained how to use Google Analytics, Technorati
- Peter Morville author of Ambient FIndability links to me (and said Seth is silly)
- I get a first victory by making it to the front page if you type “john wilson blog”
- Blogger Mike Sansone has 530,000 hits, John Wilson goes to 123,000,000
- “John Wilson” goes to page 6 on Google
- 9rules snubs me
- “John Wilson” moves to page 2 on Google
- Richard Florida and the Creative Class and the importance of SEO
- John Wilson Fishing – Phone attacks trying to steal my cc number
- I stumble on Jim Killeen
- I get listed on Freakonomics
- I blabber about Celebrity Apprentice
- Deal or No Deal Strategy (which gets tons of random hits)
- I start MBAforRent
- I get promoted at work
All of this, and I’m tearing down the site to start here fresh. I was only averaging about 10 hits a day. Hopefully this new design will help me get things more focused.
We’re up and running. From blogger to WordPress. Now I need to figure out how to move the old stories over. The import tool on WordPress seems easy enough. But I can’t figure out how to get the content out of the mysql database at GoDaddy. Argh.