I admit it; there are times when I have gone to Google (and Yahoo, MSN, Ask and even occasionally a decent Meta-Search such as Dogpile) for no other reason than to see what people are saying about me online. I like to think that I have an excuse, what with being a professional journalist and all, in that I am looking for illegally copied versions of my work, potentially libelous comments and even the odd bit of praise here and there. Of course, the truth is I am doing what huge swathes of us do even if we do not, or will not admit it: ego surfing.
The trouble is, exactly what metric do you apply to such an activity in order to truly gauge the size of your online presence? The number of hits from an enclosed in double quotes Google search? The number of positive postings minus the number of negative ones? Maybe how many comments your blog posts have attracted, or how many page views your vanity home page receives? The point being that there is not a metric that works, possibly until now that is. I have recently discovered that rather excellent, if admittedly pointless, ego surfing calculator that is designed to determine your online popularity, and nothing else.
Just enter your name together with web domain or blog address, choose the search engines you want to interrogate (from a basic google.com search through to all encompassing deep searches that include Yahoo, MSN, del.icio.us and Technorati) and wait a minute. The validity of the resulting speedo dial graphically displayed ego points is questionable, mainly because nobody is saying how they are actually arrived at. At least there is something to compare your score to, as the site lists the biggest egos for you to covet. This is a tad unfair when entities such as blogspot (26986) and engadget (13215) are included at the top table. Annoyingly, one LordDCloud seems to have a score of 28890, which makes my 3708 seem a little weak. Mind you, I take some cold comfort in knowing that Bill Gates was not that far ahead of me on 5058.
Go on then, I can take the pain: what is your ego rating?