My statistics programme tells me that someone from North Carolina visited my website yesterday, after typing the following into a search engine:
Robert Sharp for Congress
Nothing provokes as much introspection as your own personal homonym achieving something. Somewhere in America, some guy, some two-bit yahoo has manoevered himself enough, so that a place in the US House of Representatives is now a realistic proposition! We do not know each other, and yet he jeers at me from accross the Atlantic.
I have been top of the Google rankings for my own name for a while. There was a time, a year ago, when a State Supreme Court judge, one Robert Sharp Bean of Oregon, challenged for the top spot. He is dead though, and mentionings of him online seem to have tailed off somewhat. Thanks to WordPress, I remain comfortably top the billing, every time I check. Now, however, I need to watch out for this new kid-on-the-block, this Robert Sharp for Congress fellow, to ensure he makes no play for my crown. Who does he think he is?
Fact: You, dear reader, have searched for your own name in Google.
Of course, you will deny it. I will not believe you.
So tell all. How did knowledge of your homonyms, your name-alikeys, make you feel? Superior, or inadequate?
I confess, Robert Sharp intimidates me. He’s all ‘project management’ and user testing. I take comfort from the fact that he develops Windows Longhorn, and thus totally off my Venn diagramme of Possible Worlds. I wouldn’t want Rob Sharp‘s job although he’s clearly done well for himself. I would like Robert Sharp‘s job, though most of his portfolio is rather parochial. Robert Sharp, on the other hand, just gets on my nerves, and needs a better website.
I would love to have met Dr Robert Sharp, who was pretty cool in a geeky way. But he’s dead too. Most of the other Robert Sharps yeilded by Google are mainly priests and scientists – earnest fellows. I feel we might have something in common. Besides our name, that is.

No Sharps
No Sharps at Gatwick Airport. Photo by yrstrly


Don’t forget Rob Sharp, features writer at the Independent. Irritatingly, no-one has asked if we are one and the same person yet, so I can’t claim credit for his output. One day…

13 Replies to “Name-alikey”

  1. Yes I have looked up my name which came up fourth in the google list, somewhat to my surprise.Surprise that it was so high. The top one is a divinity senior lecturer at Edinburgh,clearly a very clever lady, made me feel inferior but this was counteracted by pleasure in finding my name there at all! Will now look up Robert Sharp.

  2. Well, to feed my insecurities further, I looked myself up and in the immortal words of Debbie from Quiz Mania ( an insomniacs TV quiz on ITV)
    “It’s not there”

  3. Dear Kathy
    I think you might be doing it wrong. You go to, and in the search box, put in your name in speech marks, then click on search.
    I have found under your name a cartographer, a graphic designer, a music teacher, and something to do with a nhs primary care trust (east surrey I think) and the audit commission on risk assessment. And a member of the Travellerspoint Travel Community. Try again, don’t give up.

  4. Last I looked, I’m the first three pages exclusively, and it’s mostly me from then on. I’m even mostly me on image search.
    Then again, I do spell my name wrong, which helps. Still, the sites I want top are top, so we’re good.

  5. Kathy, don’t worry. If there are few hits for your name on Google, it means that you have a unique name, and that thre few people with who you’re sharing it with aren’t nauseating overachivers who run for Congress and design Microsoft Windows. From what Claire says, your namey-likeys sound quite cool.

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