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I GOOGLED MYSELF. YAHOO!

So here I am in front of the computer today with a vacant stare. I sat down to write a blog but instead read some funny e-mails my friend Ed sent me, looked at wild lions eating Bambi’s mother on you-tube, e-mailed some people and generally wasted time since I was coming up empty on a blog topic. Yesterday I was going to interview the Times Square naked guy but changed my mind when I discovered he just wasn’t that interesting. And believe me, you’ve got to be pretty dull when your dullness overrides a front page story about your naked stroll through Times Square. That’s not easy, so I suppose I should say kudos to the naked guy for doing the impossible.

But that wasn’t helping me today. Blank page city, or I should say, blank screen virtual locale. Not that I miss writing on paper all that much. I still write songs that way and it works well for me but prose writing on paper is a pain in the butt to with my decided lack of organizational skills. I just tend to fling pages aside when I’m done with them and figure out the order later. To say nothing of my lousy penmanship. Even I can’t decipher it when I get in a groove and keep writing. It was a lot of work to figure out my work so the computer is a snap, like a typewriter with a memory and instant white out.

But today there was no writing groove to be had so I killed time by Googling myself. Sure enough, there were a bunch of listings for Bob Crespo, little capsule descriptions of various blogs and a couple mentioning my music. Pretty cool, thought I, so I did the same with Yahoo and there were some more, even some references to articles I wrote years ago about the Lubavitch Chasidic community in Brooklyn. So now I went to Dogpile, the only other search engine I can think of. They had me in there too a bunch of times. All the listings in the different search engines were the same.

So now I’m wondering who writes these little blurbs? Is there some guy out there who’s job it is to view all the web sites out there and write capsule descriptions of them? I sure didn’t provide them. Now I have to admit that there’s whole lot I don’t know about the internet. My son Rob keeps educating me and I looked up it’s origins how it works and still it’s a mystery to me. I know there are huge companies like Google and Yahoo and Amazon and e-Bay and AOL and a bunch more who do a lot of business on the internet.

I really don’t know what the heck Google is or exactly how they operate. I do know that they’re incredibly successful because its two founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page are listed among the fifty richest people in the world, worth a cool 18.5 billion apiece. Not too shabby for a couple of pups born in 1973. So they’re 34 years old and just about the two youngest billionaires around, which I guess answers my question of why they are still working.

No, it doesn’t, not really. Guys, retire already! What have you got to shoot for! 18 more billion? Same with the Yahoo guys, who raised 38 billion in their first IPO, shorthand for initial public offering to buy stock in their company, which a whole lot of people did. Well, my initial offer would have been my last day at work with 38 bil in the bank. I’d hire me some earnest computer geek to run the show and take it easy forever, do what I felt like doing when I felt like it, see the world, give a bunch of dough to charity and live extra large, maybe even XXX large. There’s lots of things in this world to do besides work. To each his own, I guess. I’ve noticed it’s always guys with no money like me who tell rich guys they should retire and enjoy life when they’re probably enjoying life just fine doing what they do.

So whatever it is they do they do it extremely well. But now I’m wondering if there’s a blurb writing company out there who provides those little synopses for each web listing. They’re always very accurate so you figure these people have to actually familiarize themselves with the subject matter. And when some Google listings tell you that your search produced three hundred thousand, seven hundred and fifty seven matches, that’s a lot of blurb writing so I’m figuring there’s huge teams of these people in some giant cubicled office building someplace viewing websites and describing them in brief. Do they charge Google and Yahoo for this service?

I know I haven’t received a bill for these very complimentary little descriptions of me and my work. And not everybody gets such complimentary write-ups. Sometimes they’re pretty negative, like when some product or service or person has been complained about by a bunch of people, then the capsule review tells you what pieces of crap the folks at this particular listing are. That’s gotta bite it if it’s your site. But then again, when you read these negative blurbs, it seems these sites earned the kick in the ass by stealing or lying or just being generally useless. (Note to self: Don’t lie or cheat or steal. Not only are these things wrong, which in and of itself ought to be reason enough not to do them, but if you do them on the internet you get bitch-slapped in front of the whole world. The useless part I’m not sure I can do anything about. After all, I’m writing a blog here, not providing an education, feeding the hungry or curing plagues. It’s definitely a leisure pursuit
item you can take or leave and still survive well enough, although skipping bobcrespo.com is not recommended for reasons of mental health. Mine.)

I like that about the internet. If you screw up, you get called on it, no matter who you are. Pretty democratic if you ask me. Are there Internet ethics I ought to know about now that I’m a part of it? Do I need a lawyer? I hope not. I’m betting that the old right and wrong and do unto others stuff my Mom taught me will carry me here like they have for my whole life so far. Of course in my writing I have insulted some people and made fun of plenty others but I’d do that to their face too. What good is being from Brooklyn if you can’t call a spade a spade or have a little fun with people?

And I can’t say it enough: I’m still amazed that this huge thing is not owned by some giant corporation and stringently controlled. I guess I’m used to heavy handed corporate thuggery and can’t get used to the freedom of a system that allows anybody to take part in it in any way they want and not have to pay heavily for the privilege. So I’m happy to be here doing whatever it is that I do. Which is another thing I love about the web, the very elastic job description. When I figure out exactly what it is I do around here, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile. go Google yourself. And may your capsule reviews be forever positive.

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