About half a year ago, I started having lunch with a different person at work everyday. The conversation is always interesting. And it is from these conversations that I realize just how diverse people really are—their interests span across multiple disciplines—which is not immediately readily apparent just by looking at their resumes on LinkedIn.
Another thing that I took note, however, is how well people know about their family. All of them are able to tell me exactly what their parents and siblings do for a living. I envy them, because I could not.
When I was growing up, about the only thing that I know about what my dad does professionally is that he teaches marketing at a university, but that's about it.
The other things that I know about my dad come from daily observance:
- We subscribe to ten newspapers which he skims through every morning.
- He also asks me to use the microwave stuff for him because he is immensely afraid of the microwave, after witnessing the scary details of the first-generation microwaves in America in the 70s when he was studying for his PhD.
- I also know that my dad likes books, because aside from having a books-filled study *and* library, the bookshelves creep all the way out to the dining room and continued to fill out every single wall where a bookshelf can be installed.
My knowledge of my family expanded significantly, however, when Google started indexing data:
- Because of Google, I now know that my dad is best known for his research in business negotiation, cross-cultural marketing, marketing ethics, social marketing and tourism marketing.
- Because of Google, I noted that aside from owning many books, he also writes many books.
- Because of Google, I noted that aside from reading a lot of news, he also appears on the news.
- Because of Google, I noted that not only does he publishes a lot on journals, he also gets many citations.
- Because of Google, I am no longer shameful of having a dad who is afraid of microwaves.
- Because of Google, I noted that she has she is not as searchable as my dad
- Because of Google, I noted that the second search results that comes up (like many of my friends' SERP) is on the SML Universe property.
- Because of Google, I noted that she was the first person in my family to make it onto the Google Patents Search
- Because of Google, I also noted that one of my medical illustration was published on Nature but my sister has apparently neglected to give me credits, thus ruining the main reason why I decided to help her out at the first place: getting my name published on a respected scientific journal.
Since day one of my SML Family Google Research, the number of search results generated has always been on the order of 1. my dad, 2. my sister, 3. me and my mom, no where to be found. I also noted that no matter what I do, I only get double-digit results.
That all changed this year. Finally, I have done something that made SML Family history. Starting in 2007, the SML Family Google ranking will have been officially repositioned to 1. Me, 2. Dad, 3. Sister. Eat that!
This is of historical importance to me, since I have never been able to beat my sister in any other field other than piano, which no one cares about anyway. With the growth in the amount of data, search engines will continue to have significance in our everyday life, and as such, I am content.
Vanity aside and most important of all, is that because of Google, I can now talk about my family as though I really know them.
For a brief moment, I felt the peace of not having to stand out too much from the crowd.