I’ve been reading a lot lately about the importance of cultivating an internet persona. Simply put, someone somewhere will google your name and you want them to be able to find positive intelligence about you.
The idea never held much value for me. I am gainfully employed and give little thought to what might pop up when someone enters “Nate Klatt” into a search engine. I googled myself several years ago, when I was looking for a job and the first page was filled with entries that linked to articles I had written during my tenure as a public relations professional.
When I decided to check again, I assumed those entries would still be the top responses. Little did I know that my name had been taken from me by a 6’4” 292 pound behemoth, playing Center at Northwest High School in Clinton, Ohio. As a high school senior, Nate Klatt had already garnered the attention of NFL scouts and had clogged the web with information about his impending decision on where to play college ball.
No big deal, right?
I thought so at first. Then I started reading more about the effect of social networking on the new economy. A current school of thought about the true power of the web is the ability of people to find others with like interests who want to collaborate on real world projects. There could be people out there right now, around the world, who share similar passions and view points with me, who could be working on amazing projects, things I want to be a part of, to make the world a better place or make lots of money or both. I want those people to be able to find me just as I actively seek them out.
To be visible, I have to take back my name. This blog is one step in that direction as is my involvement in other web communities, both social and entrepreneurial. To effectively establish my own internet persona I am going to have to go to war, over the next several years, as the other Nate Klatt establishes himself at Michigan State (thought for sure he’d choose to be a Buckeye) and then enters the NFL draft. I will have to battle against terabytes of information distributed by ESPN, Scout.com and other media powerhouses. Either that or I will have to change my name (which I am pretty much unwilling to do.)
So, Nate Klatt, it’s on. Honor and the new economy demand that I defend my name and I am going to go to the mat to make sure that people know who the original Nate Klatt is, what he is good at and how to find him. I choose you.
(Note to Nate: I don’t really choose you. You’re 6’4”, 292 pounds and 19 years old. I’m 5’8”, 165 and have a torn ACL from a recent skiing accident. Just don’t do anything to make the Google onslaught any worse. Please. Oh, and when you do enter the draft, think Broncos. They’ll need someone to shore up the middle and protect Tebow for that extra 267 milliseconds his throwing motion demands.)