Posts Tagged ‘google’


Personal brand. I hate to say it, but it’s important

In Continuing Education,social networking,Uncategorized,Web 2.0 & all that on September 21, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve always disliked the term “personal branding”; it sounds, well, very impersonal, really. Makes me think of the Prisoner: “I am not a number, I am a free man” and all that kind of nonsense.  Heavens, people have charisma, personality, charm…, not branding! No, I’d decided, nothing to do with me, thanks.

But then I read somewhere, and I really can’t remember where (isn’t that terribly rude, not to link to your sources? Oh well) that it’s useful to think of your brand not in terms of what cut of suit you like to wear, or scent you care to sport, but rather as what comes up when someone puts your name into Google (I should point out here that “other search engines are available”). Now I’m sorry to say that if you put my name into Google I don’t even make it onto the front page of results. Oh dear. I do though have a couple of entries in results 11 to 20. My Linked in profile comes up, which I’m quite chuffed about as I only put it in recently, as does my Bazian (my company) bio. If you put in me + health or me + bazian then you get more hits about me (as opposed to Alan Lovell the actor, or the CEO of Jarvis etc), and I have to admit that I’m relieved that my Twitter page rarely pops up, as that’s pretty pathetic really (I should either start tweeting properly, lock it, or delete it).

But it has made me think. If at work or indeed in my personal life I come across a new person that I might have some interest in, the first thing I do is Google them. And I think nowadays we all do this – it’s second nature. While it may be argued by some that we don’t really have much control over what comes up about us in Google (or Ask, Bing, Yahoo etc) I think that on the contrary we do – we can do search engine optimization of our own pages, e.g. on Linked In or perhaps on our institution’s site, or we can start our own blog or a static webpage with a personal/professional statement as necessary. We might not like it, but for many people in our professional life their first contact with us will be through a computer screen, and not in real life; and as we all know, first impressions count.

So I still might not like the term “personal brand”, but I do think we have to acknowledge that our “online” self is important, both personally and, particularly, professionally. My online self is not the same as me, therefore terms such as “charisma” or “personality” won’t cut the mustard. For example, next time I go for a job, the interviewers are bound to Google me. I need to take control of the information they’ll find about me. You’ll need to do the same.


Excellence and equity – google in action

In Blogging on Blogging,search engines on July 13, 2010 by africker Tagged: ,

Intrigued to spot how a post on my work blog about the new NHS white paper was a) immediately picked up by Google b) given a time stamp of roughly when I started writing the blog post rather than when I published it and c) given massive prominence.

The post is currently (10am 13 July) first result from Google (above the white paper itself) for a search on  – excellence and equity nhs and the only relevant hit in the first ten for “Excellence and equity” with or without quotes – it seems education already used this particular tag line!  I am sure this will wash out in the next couple of days but nice to be at the top of things.

Much of the content was taken (with permission) from a Bulletin prepared by David Nicholls at East London and the City Alliance Health Intelligence Unit. His posting of the bulletin predated my post by some time (he was obviously in bright and early this morning!) but it is not coming up in Google.  I know their blog is relatively new (my work one started in Aug 2007 – with a trad Hello World post).  We also got a lot of traffic and links when we created a similar update post around the release of the Darzi report.


Similar sites and related articles

In search engines,Web 2.0 & all that,Website reviews on March 29, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , ,

I like “similar sites/related articles” or whatever it might be called from one site to the next – in Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, Scirus etc – as I find it a useful way to develop and “flesh-out” a search. I was therefore happy to hear about It does what you would expect it to do. You tell it the web address of the site you’re interested in, click the relevant button, and it gives you a list of similar sites; should you like you can install the Firefox extension. The “don’t get it confused with” website does something very similar, but looks nicer; should you like you can install the Chrome extension. (I’m writing this in Chrome as we speak, though I do like the themes in the new Firefox).

The trouble is, and it’s a shame to report it, but Google’s similar sites feature seems to give better results. and can get rather surreal at times. Mind you, if you like living on the edge this could be considered an advantage; you never know where you might end up.

It would be nice if Bing could try their hand at this, now that they’re hoping to be taken seriously.


Google buzz and the iPad

In Information industry,Web 2.0 & all that on February 15, 2010 by Hanna Tagged: , , ,

A sort of twitter shared Google buzz was launched this week, I certainly noted it had started without my input with someone eagerly waiting to follow my updates. Oh well, nothing is free as an interesting documentary on the consequences of not paying for web services The cost of free explored. The cost of gmail is that when you email or search for anything this data is fed into marketing and you are targeted according to this information is all well and good if it’s stuff that’s useful but it delved into the case of a woman whose identity was figured out by looking at the searches she did which included her friends’ health problems so the old nugget of freedom v privacy.

The iPad may make ebooks interesting but this has knock on effects for the print industry. Paul Carr on TechCrunch says we’re back to the days of the Net Book Agreement as publishers struggle to scrape profit from something that more and more is becoming like the music industry.


A real Google phone?

In Blogging on Blogging,Information industry on January 4, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , ,

Look out tomorrow for a possible announcement from Google that they’re releasing their own phone (review here and chit chat here, here, here, and a podcast here). We all know that android phones have been out for a while, and that in terms such as multitasking and personalization, they’re a cut above the (“we’re Apple and we know what’s good for you”) iPhone. But tomorrow they will announce the Nexus One. It’s been made, as with many previous Android phones, by HTC, but the difference is that while you’ll be able to get it on contract (T-Mobile has been mentioned), Google will also sell the hardware direct themselves, putting themselves, their reputation, and their clout, not only behind the software but also the hardware. Apparently Google is “dogfooding” it to their staff around the world. I’ve never heard that term before, but Wikipedia tells us it means:

“Eating one’s own dog food, also called dogfooding, is when a company uses the products that it makes. Dogfooding can be a way for a company to demonstrate confidence in its own products, and hence a kind of testimonial advertising. For example, Microsoft and Google emphasize the use of its own software products inside the company.”

What a strange word. Anyway, I think my next phone will be an android phone. I love iPhones but, well, doesn’t everyone have one these days…? (Not that I’m jealous or anything.)


Windows 7 ‘flying off the shelves’ (well, in my local PC World)

In Information industry on October 22, 2009 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , ,

I was in my local PC World this lunchtime buying a nice mouse for work (and as such evidently a highlight of my day) and I was interested to note that they were doing a brisk trade in MS7 – flying off the shelves it was. Who would’ve thought it? Not me, that’s for sure, but while I probably shouldn’t admit this I do hope it’s a success. The more Microsoft get kicked about by Google and Apple the more I warm to them. I guess it’s a British thing…

p.s. I bought a Logitech mouse, not a Microsoft mouse. I’ve not gone that soft.


Pubmed’s new look

In Information industry on October 1, 2009 by Hanna Tagged: , ,

A colleague passed on the link to a preview of Pubmed’s new interface. It was reported in NLM’s technical bulletin which I always mean to read and never do…They have gone for a streamlined look (more Googlisation?) and a warm and cuddly picture of a book opening. SLA Europe are having a talk on the Google-isation of research featuring information bods and vendors on 7th October which I can’t make but which promises to be interesting in terms of the trend in search design.