Where would we be without Google?

9 08 2006

Back in 2002 at the STC Conference in Nashville I met two of *THE* gurus in the Help authoring world – my great friend Char, and MJ.

MJ lived in Nashville, and I spent some extra time at her house, getting some RoboHelp training from her, meeting her family, and generally hanging out and having a nice time (and some good food – she’s a great cook!). During the conference, we continued to meet up (as you do), and MJ and I kept in good email contact for a time. After the certified RoboHelp trainers got shafted by Blue Sky/eHelp as it was then, MJ dropped off the radar. She didn’t respond to emails, phone calls from concerned colleagues and friends, etc.

About 3 months later, just like a ground hog, she popped up again with an  explanation, then as quickly disappeared again. We knew she continued to live in Nashville with her family, but after no response, I guess her old colleagues just gave up. But at every conference, someone would ask if anyone had heard from MJ. No-one had.

So, what makes me write about this connection now? Well, I had a few spare minutes the other day and decide to clear out some old emails in my Inbox. I scrolled down to 2003 and started there – and one of the first I came across was MJ’s explanation for her disappearance off our respective radars.

That was the trigger to go a’hunting on Google! And within a few minutes I had found her – what she was doing now (still writing a lot, but not technical writing any more), her current website, etc., and I decided to email her to see if she wanted to renew the contact from a few years ago. Some hours later (morning for me), in my Inbox was a lovely email from MJ, and over the past week we’ve exchanged quite a few more. She has headed in quite a different direction – and it’s all good for her.

Without Google (or similar) it would’ve been much harder to track her down, so thank you Google for providing the mechanism that allowed two people to reconnect.

BTW, I never did get back to clearing out those old emails!



2 responses

12 08 2006

Another relatively new entry in the “using the Web to find out about people” category is ZoomInfo, which I recently found out about at at http://www.blueskyresumes.com/weblog/archives/2006/07/what_does_zoom.html.

Zoom may or may not lead you to something that would help you get in touch with a person, but it MIGHT yield information that lets you know what someone has been up to during a prolonged period of silence.

By the way, *you’re* on ZoomInfo. Two individual entries with 16 sources of information between them.

12 08 2006

Now that’s a scary little search engine! Good too, in that it focuses on the *real* links to a person and not all the garbage found with Google etc. But scary…

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