Vanity, thy name is Kidmanpedia…

Every once in a while, I’ll do a vanity search on my name in Google. It’s apparently a very common kind of thing to do online, but I like to think that I do this for more than reasons of vanity. Well, I like to think that, anyway.
Seriously, however, it’s something of a hangover from when I worked as editor at ZDNet Reviews and later as editor at CNET.com.au, where it was worthwhile checking where stuff was being re-published, and whether such re-purposing was kosher. These days those chasing-people-with-cease-and-desists isn’t so much of a concern. Well, aside from folks ripping off my game reviews for YouTube purposes, anyway. It’s still interesting to see where my name pops up, and for which publication, and it has led to some interesting work avenues in the past.
I was digging through Wikipedia the other day (reading the entry on Martin Luther, if you must know) and the thought struck me that a Wikipedia personal search might be an interesting affair. Not that I’m noteworthy in and of myself, you understand. Frankly, I’d rather not be that famous in any huge regard, at least from the celebrity side of things. My surname means that searching for me can bring up some rather odd results in any search engine unless I’m rather specific. “Odd” can sometimes mean very, very disturbing, it should be noted.
Still, I’d been aware that I’d been linked to as a source for Wikipedia articles in the past, for my comments in a review of Ninja Gaiden for the original Xbox, and as an editor for the Australian version of Gamespot. That’s well prior to the current excellent Gamespot team, by the way; the site effectively rested inbetween my stewardship and its relaunch a few years later. But Wikipedia’s a fluid kind of beast, and my curiosity was piqued.
So what cropped up?
Well, the Ninja Gaiden review note is still there.
Gamespot isn’t, with the details on previous Australian editors replaced with a rather more bland listing of what Gamespot Au currently does. Apparently you’d have to be an American to be a notable Gamespot writer, but then I guess Wikipedia is horribly US-centric at the best of times.
I’m also linked for a review at CNET for one of LG’s Chocolate mobile phones.
Strangely for someone who writes a lot of reviews – and who often finds that I’m the first (and often only) person to put down a Web review on a given product – that’s the only pure “review” of mine that Wikipedia currently uses as a source. There is a half-newsy, half-review article on the open source image application Artweaver that I wrote for APCMag.com, but that rather clearly came out of their news rather than reviews budget.
The other two entries where I’m listed are frankly a little odd. Firstly, I’m cited in a list of video games notable for negative reception. When that came up I suspected it might be for a review I wrote of Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This At Home, a truly woeful game that still stands as having the worst score I’ve ever given anything. Just. I’m not a big fan of scores as the be all and end all, but in fact it’s nothing to do with Backyard Wrestling at all. Instead, it references a list article I wrote for PC Authority on games notable for violence, and specifically it seems for a really awful game called Custer’s Revenge. That game seems to follow me around; I quoted it on a Byteside panel I appeared at on the weekend as well.
And then finally, I’m referenced a list of Zelda games. Fair enough, you might think. I’ve reviewed more than a few of them. Except this is a list of Zelda games for Philips CD-i, a system I’ve never owned, relating to a review written originally for GameSpot AU and later ported over to CNET.com.au.
Truly, the ways of Wikipedia are weird.

About the author

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

Comments

  1. Howdy Alex. Thought I would check out some of your work! As you rather like a vanity ‘net surf, you may wish to check out this website http://www.copyscape.com/ I am told that it helps you find copies of work from your website across the web. So as a writer if someone is plagiarising your stuff, you can find out about it.

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