One of the things many people don’t take into consideration is the importance of protecting their name.
A week or so ago, there were criticisms in the paper of Michael Jordon because he was suing two small companies for using his name and likeness in their advertising. The reason people were upset with him is the companies were trying to honor him for his accomplishments and people thought it was wrong for the superstar to sue the small companies for doing so.
The thing these people don’t realize is if he doesn’t protect his name and if he allows people to use his name and likeness in their advertising, it would mean anyone could do so for any reason. While these two companies were trying to honor him, the next two might try to portray him in a negative light and would be able to make the argument that since he allowed others to use his name in advertising without permission, they could do so as well.
This is why big companies will sometimes seem heavy handed in their attempt to prevent others from using their company or product name.
How does this apply to you if you aren’t a big company or a nationally known figure? Have you ever wondered what people find if they enter your name into a search engine and do a search? Will they find you? Will they find the information you want them to find about you? Will they find something negative about you?
Some people might be surprised when they search on their name because they might find some things about themselves they didn’t know (or things that aren’t true). They also might find some things they wrote a long time ago that no longer apply (for example, a post from 10 years ago on a forum might have been funny from a 15 year old but now that this person is 25 it might not reflect well on them).
You might want to take a moment to see what you (and others) can find when doing a search on your name. One thing to remember is if it’s something negative, even if it’s about someone else with the same name as you, it still reflects poorly on you.
If you find that searching on your name doesn’t show you in a good light, you might want to consider doing something about it. One thing you can do is, if available, buy a domain with your name in it (for example, in my case, LawrenceFine.com) Put a blog on it and write about things of interest to you. If you don’t know if it will work, take a moment, go to Google.com and enter Lawrence Fine and see what you find. I didn’t start this because of negative things about me but I did start this blog to help protect my name.
Give it some thought