With Halloween coming up soon (or at least it seems to be with store shelves are already stocked with Halloween candy), are there any interesting ARGs related to Googlegängers? Most of the information I've found on Googlegängers (by using Google no less) seems to deal with people's confusion, frustration, or amusement at finding their same-name virtual doppelgänger. I know I'm always hoping to overtake the real Laurie Taylor on Google rankings. To me, the real one is the one who's more often higher on a Google Search--in my case, the one who works for the BBC. I'm also always hoping the bad one--who wanted books banned--will drop out of Google listings (latest news on that one is from 2005, but it's still on the first page of results). A great ARG could focus on finding one's Googlegänger, maybe just trying to beat them in Google rankings, or something else.
The presence of Googlegängers--or even the lack--begs for some sort of playful approach. It also begs for name-play; after all, the bulk of the web is in English, so those with non-English names and spellings are more likely to be Googlegänger-free, at least for awhile.
How many of us have Googlegängers? How many of us already know how many and who they are (I know some have found theirs and read about them)? Does anyone have special interests in any of their Googlegängers? Has anyone met their Googlegängers? I haven't met any, but I get email a few times a year through school email, since I'm one of several Laurie Taylor's at UF, and others from various sources. For awhile, I kept getting emails for one in Maryland and I deleted the first few, but then the messages were "URGENT!" so I replied that they had the wrong person. I get fewer of those now, but random emails still come through.
I wonder if I added my own Laurie Taylor to the BBC's Laurie Taylor monopoly on Wikipedia if I'd climb in Google rankings. More likely, Wikipedia would remove my entry and Google would de-list my site for trying to manipulate them, but I might try it anyways. Of course, that might just mean more emails with family pictures for another Laurie Taylor's family and that's awkward (do I wait and hope they realize their mistake until 2 emails, or more?). What can we do about and with modern identity confusion created by the ever present and ever-increasing Googlegängers?
There are no CFPs wit