I’ve had a small personal site on the Web since 1995. Those were the days when you wrote the HTML by hand in Notepad and then submitted the URL to Yahoo so others might find you. Yahoo ruled Internet search then, and I was the number one result when you searched on my name. The world has no shortage of Jim Greys; my name’s pretty common. But it took a few years before any of the other Jim Greys had Web presences, and it was cool to be first. By the time Google had risen to search supremacy, a Canadian telephone company executive ruled the Jim Grey search. I swear his PR agency was paid by the press release. But this fellow appears to have retired, and so if you Google my name today, my homepage is the #1 hit. Once again, I am the world’s foremost Jim Grey!
I’ve left quite an Internet trail, and you can find most of it via Google if you’re patient. You will find an excerpt from a book about Microsoft PowerPoint I co-wrote several years ago, plus several places you can buy it if you’re so inclined – but don’t feel obligated; it was a work-for-hire contract and I’ve already made all the money I’m going to off it. You’ll find most of the posts I made to USENET newsgroups in the early 1990s. And you’ll find my profiles at LinkedIn, Facebook, and a few other places. I’m pretty sure I haven’t left anything behind that I wouldn’t want my mom to know.
Be sure you don’t confuse me with the non-me Jim Greys to whom Google also leads you. Just within the first hundred results, Google finds a Canadian ethanol executive, a ham radio operator, a Jewish man looking for love, an Oregon car and truck salesman, a chemical engineer hoping to find lost high school chums, and my dad looking for an argument. You’ll also find Jim Grey of Moonbah, a children’s book about an Australian boy who lived on a sheep ranch. I had that book when I was a kid.
But above all, beware the two impostors that Google finds because somebody fat-fingered their last names as Grey instead of Gray. Unfortunately, they are also the two most common results when you search for me. The first is a highly regarded Microsoft researcher who sailed away in his boat last year and never came back. The second, a real scourge in my search results, is a sports reporter widely reviled for his abrasive interviews.
One little thing I didn’t tell you is that I’m #1 only if you search for my name in quotes. If you leave off the quotes, the lost-at-sea Microsoft researcher’s site pops to the top. Sure wish people could spell names right! Especially the hated sports reporter’s name. Go check; people say things that would peel paint. You’d think they really hate me!