From the “Sometimes This All Scares Me” Department comes this item from today’s Wall Street Journal (fee today, but maybe not tomorrow.) Basically, it’s about a couple that decided on their newborn son’s name by…well…just read this:
So when Ms. Wilson, now 32, was pregnant with her first child, she ran
every baby name she and her husband, Justin, considered through Google
to make sure her baby wouldn’t be born unsearchable. Her top choice:
Kohler, an old family name that had the key, rare distinction of being
uncommon on the Web when paired with Wilson. “Justin and I wanted our
son’s name to be as special as he is,” she explains.
So now, thanks to Google, her son is named after a plumbing fixtures company. (Oh wait…buried in the story is the tidbit that they actually came to their senses and went with Benjamin instead. “Kohler,” it seems, whould have subjected him to playground ridicule. Just wait ’til he gets online…)
My kids are going to be so, so unclickable…
Safety should be a paramount concern for any new parent. Sometimes the more anonymous a name is the better. 🙂
Arthus Erea says
Well, my name certainly google’s well. 🙂
As far as I can tell, I am the only person on the planet with my name. This was awesome until I entered the online world and discovered some serious security concerns. I usually just go by my last name or a screen name to avoid being far too exposed online.
Tim Goree says
I imagine Arthus Erea would! I figured I would be rather unique with my last name until I Googled it for the first time years ago and found at least 3 other Tim Gorees out there. I am proud to say, however, that I am far out pacing my namesakes for hits on the web. Or, maybe, I should be scared instead of proud….
Kern Kelley says
We’re having all our students create aliases and avatars as an district wide assignment next fall so that everything they do on the web school related will be under their alias, not their real name. We’re hoping this will help them realize they shouldn’t be putting their name on anything on the web unless there is a _very_ good reason to.
Aaron Smith says
I wasn’t easy to find on Google for quite some time, since there are several other Aaron Smiths out there who are artists (and at least one professional athlete – ouch!). Now that I’ve been blogging for a while though, I’ve gone from total obscurity to the third link down when I do an ego search.
Perhaps instead of picking a name that sits well with Google, they should encourage their son to become a producer of quality content? That would increase his rank no matter what was on his birth certificate.
Of course I’ve gotten by just fine without the quality… never mind.
(As an aside, the “old family name” in my family is “Speener.” The last one stuck with that moniker vanished during the Yukon Gold Rush.)
That’s a great story. At least they weren’t considering a food type (Apple). It’s funny how much thought goes into naming children. My maiden name is very unique and caused me all kinds of trouble as a kid. When I married, my last name became Miller, and there are lots of us out there. Even going to a doctor’s office can be confusing.
hmmm…”Benjamin Wilson”…certainly isn’t unique. Goodle shows an English Painter, British Scientist, State Representative, Medal of Honor Recipient, and Biblical Scholar.(and that just the first two pages of results) While his name isn’t uniquely searchable, he will be in good company I suppose.
Like many other useless “news” stories, this just a story about what somebody was “thinking about” or “almost did.” I suspect it was written not to report any kind of news, but to generate it instead. Just something else to talk about…something else to scare us about evil technology. I can hear the talk at the water cooler now: “How could someone name their baby from a search engine?”
Oh wait…we are sitting around the edu blogoshpere watercooler saying â€œhow could someone name their baby from a search engine?â€
Steve Dembo says
With a name like Aiden Lefty Dembo, I have no worries that my son will run into many people with the same name 😉
My favorite names are still oranjello and lemonjello. As reported by Freakonmics.
We all know education has to change.. hence we read and comment on this blog…John Dewy wrote that progressive education was the answer to teaching children in 1920, a good many of us agree that integrated, relevant, student driven education was the best means to knowledge acquisition but yet in 2007 a good many teachers still handout worksheets, have the students work out of text, take assessments that do not accurately learning of any kind. all in subject isolated classrooms. Teachers who “know” need to find ways to incorporate the 2.0 technology with traditional methods… and unfortunately this means still handing back Friday folders, and maybe some day we will be able to download them off line..
Shaun Carey says
That is hilarious! I can’t believe someone would do that to their kid. We had enough trouble coming up with names for our two kids because of children I had in class. This talk of names brings up a player in the major leagues that makes me laugh every time I hear his name: Coco Crisp.