Monday, August 11, 2008

What will we do tomorrow night, Brain?

Try to take over the web.

Inspired by Sherry's recent forays into web design, I decided last week that it was finally time to take control of my web presence. I've been tracking my Google-ocity for a while. A few years ago the top hit for "Erin Gong" was a small literary journal at BYU, promising a full-text link to a short story I wrote and got published there. Not bad.

But several months later, I was humiliated when the first result on the Google ego search was an spelling error message: "Did you mean Brian Gong?" No. I certainly did not. Brian is Abe's uncle, who has a great publishing repertoire, work accolades, and - apparently - web position.

Thanks to my recent affiliation with the University of Michigan and activity on heavy-weight social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn), Google no longer thinks that my name search is simply a keyboard blunder.

Instead, I am rivaled by another Erin Gong. I didn't think it was possible. How many Erin Gongs do you know? Last year a Chinese girl received lifesaving treatment in the U.S. A YouTube video tribute to her is still #1 on the hit results for Erin Gong. [Warning: resist the urge to google Erin Gong and click on said video. This will only exacerbate the problem. It is a sweet film of photos, scriptural passages, and uplifting music. There. Consider it watched.]

So I have spent (or sunk) the last week into building my own personal website in hopes that it's page rank will be enough to combat the forces of obscurity.

Check out my 20 hours of hard labor at It has no content. None of the links work. And I'm still trying to figure out how to upload RSS feeds on the right hand side of the page.

Good thing I'm unemployed.


Sarah said...

I don't have a chance in the google search world with a generic name like Sarah Black. I even tried a google search with Sarah Olsen Black and the first thing to pop up was the quote "SARAH OLSON is a BLACK gang member."

Sarah said...

p.s. nice website

Erin said...

i should perhaps mention that none of the headings of the links in my website are accurate, either. i lifted much of the design from a site called twenty3design. those headings are leftovers.

Spike said...

If you have a domain name (or not even), I would be happy to host a Wordpress blog for you on my server.

I currently host a number of blogs and have a few commercial clients whose sites I host as well.

Wordpress would allow you complete control (and then some) over your site and you could make it look exactly like what you did on the Umich site.

If you're interested send me an email or schedule some time for coffee once school starts and I can tell you more about how awesome Wordpress is. It doesn't have to be a blog...I've done a number of sites using it as a glorified CMS.

For example, I designed the following for a client this summer using Wordpress as the back-end:

Megan said...

I love your reference to Pinky and the Brain. What a clever show that was.
I hope that you can gain the #1 spot again on google. You have a ton of websites! I followed your advice and did not click on the video. It is too bad that my spare time will only last until the end of the week. Otherwise, I could click on your site thousands of time to put your sites higher.

Dave and Margaret said...

What a cool web page! You pilfered and compiled perfectly.

I remember the day that Margaret showed me that you can right click on any webpage and see the code I was amazed. The day that she showed me she could take that code and twist it to her own advantage I fell in love.

Twenty3design said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twenty3design said...

Glad we could help with some inspiration!
...and thanks for the comment in your code, very much appreciated.
Checkout for the real thing ;)