When I was in high school, a friend of mine was interested in making horror movies. So he'd recruit people to play zombies and record the action on an old 8mm camera. Eventually he got more and more skilled through all this, and managed to get some funding from a famous horror movie producer to make his own movie.
Before he was funded by the famous producer, I believed enough in him to lend him some money. I paid off a debt he'd owed to another person, and fronted him the money for an 8mm viewer editor. By the time the famous producer funded him, he'd apparently forgotten about my loan because I never did see any of that money.
Granted, it was only about $400, but in those days that was a lot. Recently I wondered how he'd done after we lost track of each other, and did some online searches. Turns out he's still directing horror movies and has founded his own studio (more about him at http://www.tempevideo.com/bookwalter/ ). I was pleased to see that I had a mention in the credits of the movie he'd worked on while we were in high school.
But I still haven't seen any of the $400.
All this got me to thinking. How do you know who's looking for you? What sort of information will someone find out about you if they do an online search?
Up until now, it's been fairly hard to know who is searching for you. Unless you're famous, the chances are good that nobody searches for you often enough for the search engines to take notice. Generally you need at least one search a month for the search engines to be able to report the search in a keyword tool.
There is, however, an option. There's a website called Squidoo, where you can easily create a web page about any topic you like. Including yourself! The great thing about Squidoo is that web pages on Squidoo rank quite highly on Google. So a web page about yourself on Squidoo is probably going to be one of the first results if someone searches for you on Google.
This way you can help shape the sort of information people find about you when they search for you. You can take it a step farther, too, and find out where those people are located by using Statcounter.com and tracking your visitors to your Squidoo page. Or you can put a form on your Squidoo page that will allow people to contact you.
Squidoo also gives you a little money back each month for creating web pages, so you'll probably find yourself creating more than just a page about yourself. Create pages about your hobbies, your likes and your dislikes, etc.
To get started with Squidoo, sign up here.