Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Vanity Publishing: Becky Hogge Admits That, in Her Head, She Is the Paris Hilton of the Internet

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Vanity Publishing: Becky Hogge Admits That, in Her Head, She Is the Paris Hilton of the Internet

Article excerpt

"No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes, than a public library." One imagines Samuel Johnson might have revised his opinion, were he around today. Perhaps, like me, he would have been sucked into that most elating of time-wasting pursuits, self-googling. With each new tool for internet search and retrieval he, too, might have found canny new ways to exploit it in order to augur his online status.

For me, it started with Google. Thanks to the unusual spelling of my surname, it was small shakes coming top in a search for "Becky Hogge", even if I dropped the quotation marks. As my online portfolio grew, "Hogge" quickly followed. Then, early last year, I discovered that if you typed "Becky" into a "return sites from the UK only" constrained search, I came number three, behind a transvestite living in King's Lynn and a waterfall in Newton Abbot. This, in my estimation, made me the most popular natural-born female Becky in Britain. Friends were less impressed, but I carried on regardless.

Then there followed Technorati, the search engine devoted to that bastion of online vanity publishing, the blog. Then del.icio.us, the bookmark-sharing site, where I could judge the character of those who bookmarked my work to read later by the other links they'd stored. To my ego's great surprise, I still don't have a Wikipedia entry. But I have my own tag on the photo-sharing website Flickr, together with 17 photos submitted by other people. …

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