This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to check someone's reputation on the web

Come on, admit it, you've probably wondered if someone is "for real" and Googled them. And I don't mean that you imagine that they're wanted by the FBI, you just want to know more. It might be someone you just met, or someone that you heard about. And if you're thinking like that, relax, and rest assured that just about everyone does it, and it's not something that started with the internet.

The challenge of Googling someone is that so many people have the same name. My name is Brad Hall, but if you Google Brad Hall, you'll get the more famous one, the husband of the actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus. There's also another more famous Brad Hall than me, the one who makes YouTube videos and opens boxes (yes, that's a thing).

The trick is to Google their name along with another word. For example, if you Google me and add "history adventuring" I'll appear. You can also add "wiener dog", or anything in particular that you know about me, like cycads. I Google myself all of the time, to see what's out there, and I made it easy for myself as I've always used my company name BradHallArt. If you Google BradHallArt you'll see my cartoons, and everything that I've put on the web since I started my website, in 1999.

And it's true that once you've posted something on the web, it stays there forever. There's no one out there who can erase that bad photo of you, or that tweet that you now regret. But I have good news - there's so much stuff all of the time that something like that gets buried quickly. That is, when you do a Google search, it will be there, but probably on page 3,476. And no one really goes past page one or two. I've had insomnia and looked through as many as a dozen pages or my clients, but really that's extreme.

Reputation on the web is just like everything else. Think before you speak, hesitate before you post a photo. No, you don't have to be perfect, or artificial - nobody believes that, anyway. Just keep saying good things, keep doing good things. Keep posting pics of yourself showing things that you would like the world to see. It's exactly like real life, you can't change the past, but you can influence the future, with what you do in the present.

I hope this helps. See you in cyberspace!

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