Ever Googled yourself? Of course you have But what if the search result throws up something quite unexpected, something a little off colour? As it has in my case...
The impetus to my auto-search was the spate of random fan mail arriving in my inbox over the past few months.
Most of are from the Old Country (South Africa) and most are in my former mother tongue (Afrikaans). They also all have a common thread.
Some applaud me for my great contribution to the arts with offers of support in this time of strife, others are angling for me to consider their work, and most recently most are enquiring if my book is out and where they can find a copy.
On the face of it I should feel flattered. I did not realise being a technology/business writer qualifies me as a ”contributor to the arts”, any support to pay the credit card is welcome, and hey, if people are already lining up to buy my book, I’d better go ahead and write it!
But alas, these so-called ”fans” are not mine at all - but rather admirers of a namesake.
The Louis van Wyk they’re trying to reach is a well-known South African music promoter, who in recent times has been in the news more for hitting on your female artists than helping them produce hits.
And this is where my Google search turns seedy.
In an attempt to work out how these random strangers got hold my email address, I searched my name.
Lo and behold the top result is a headline from a news website that reads: ”Singer says Van Wyk hit on her„.
Crikey, and right below it - a link from our website that reads: Mail for louis vanwyk, which allows anyone to email me!
So it is easy to see how anyone searching for this other fella can get through to me.
But what it doesn’t answer is why, oh why, would you want to make random contact with some guy you don’t know who has been linked to such pervy behaviour?
I would lie if I said I didn’t for a moment consider how to take advantage of this confusion.
But I quickly realised there is little fun to be had in luring random loonies to send me demos of their particular brand of Afrikaans pop music SHUDDER!
(For the record: For those who do decide to Google ‘Louis van Wyk’, neither the Facebook nor LinkedIn profiles listed further down the search results are mine. However, I can state that I am the MOST fun Louis van Wyk, I know