Sunday, October 11

Information Tends to be Freed

Here's something funny: I was dinking around online last night and found, through nebulous contrivance, a Web site new to me, Is This Your Name. You type your name in and it does a multi-platform Web search for you, turning up all sorts of results ranging from the practical to the amusing. From there, you can see who else shares your name, where you've implanted yourself... and who's borrowing stuff from you.

Inspired by a class I took at Metro State, one focusing on children's literature, I dug out some old books from my childhood and scanned in their endpapers.

End papers for McCall's Giant Golden Make-It Book, Simon and Schuster, 1953.

Without being conscious of it, the decorative endpapers were as dear to me as anything else inside or outside the book. I smiled to see them again, this capricious little design meant to serve as nothing but filler and perhaps some foreshadowing to the book's contents. Endpapers also help establish an atmosphere for the reader, and especially in children's literature their design is a strategic deliberation.

What Is This You showed me was that there were a couple of admirers of my scanned-in endpapers that I didn't know about. They each credited me, and if they hadn't I'm sure I wouldn't have heard of this at all.

The blog Yara Kono, in Portuguese, found it and cited me as "Christian Wilkie" (the surname I will be changing to soon). But the Babelfish program is inadequate to translate the author's caption into anything comprehensible.

Similarly, Kelly Rakowski, who maintains a very interesting archive at Nothing is New, has an account with (a "social bookmarking" site I've never heard of) and kept track of the endpapers here. She credits me as "Christian Fredrickson" and it's interesting to me to see who chose what name for me.

Not that interesting, I guess. And I'm not upset that they posted the image: it wasn't mine to begin with, it was only my uncommon find, and each did credit me appropriately. I would've liked a linkback and an e-mail notification, but those are just my druthers. They did everything just fine. And the issue is quite moot anyway: these posts are well over 15 months old, so it's been going on for a while. In all likelihood there are many other places also referencing this picture that I know nothing about. The discovery of Is This Your Name only reinforces how large the Internet is, to the point where sections of it are practically inaccessible (barring luck and chance).

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