Monday, July 11, 2005

Ooberganoober Takes Flight

I discovered the bestest book store in the whole city over the weekend. Or, rather, I shouldn't say that I discovered it, but that I finally actually entered it after having passed it a gwillion times and thought, 'Hmm, that looks like a nice bookstore.' It's SOOOO nice, you have no idea. And to use and absolutely odious word, it's 'classy.' Around every bookshelf is---you really won't believe this---a CHAIR!!! A nice looking one with leather! And WOOD! (Not stainless steel or plastic with all that curvy sans-serif crap that's been in for seventy-hundred bazillion years) And the cafe section has charming rustic-looking wooden tables! And the downstairs is so cool (temperature and atmosphere), and really it's just the absolute best bookstore on the entire island. Maybe in the whole state. You may have even seen it or been in, and if you have, you totally know what I'm talking about, zoopgners. What's the name and location of this bookstore? What, I was born yesterday?!?! I'm going to tell you so you can bring all your homeless peeps and Jersey friends and finnuck the whole thing up? No thanks. Just forget I ever said ANY OF IT.

At one of my visits to this promised-land bookstore over the weekend, I flipped through the greatest li'l book by Jennifer Blowdryer, called Good Advice for Young Trendy People of All Ages. Hmm, I should clarify: it's edited by Jennifer Blowdryer. Edited and written. Whatever. I don't even know what editing is, frankly--when I worked in an editing department I got the impression that it was just changing the position of hyphens within sentences before changing them back and then repeating ad nauseam. I used to say, "You can be the best writer in history, but if you don't have a good editor, you might use the wrong dash." My editor friend(!) added: "..and then no one will read it." Oh, wait! I just realized the use of an editor---I used to write "noone" until an editor at that same place pointed out that the word(s) is actually "no one." Of course. Well, I guess that's the function of editors. Cux no one would EVER understand if I wrote noone. ANYWAY, now that I've gotten ridiculously off-track, back to the book. It has chapters by Reverend Jen, James St. James, and of course Jennifer Blowdryer. Here are some of the things you can learn from the book: how to... live in debt, be an Art star, survive in prison, etc... It's pretty useful, and it's inspired me to finally get that bunny costume I've been coveting for so long. Well, to look into it, at any rate. Anyone out there a seamstress? Seamster? Whatever the word is?

Since I enjoyed the book so much and totally intend to see if Strand has the cheap copy of it, I googled Jennifer Blowdryer today to see how much google likes her. Because isn't that what you do when you find something you like--google it to see how much google likes it? The number of google hits was less than I'd expected, which confirms something I've suspected for some time: The number of hits your name retrieves from google has absolutely nothing to do with your real 'market value.' Let's look at the names:

Name: Google hits
Jennifer Blowdryer: 783
Ed Shepp: 3,960
Reverend Jen: 4,830
Mark Baratelli: 387
Stephen Guarino: 205
Britney Spears: 4,760,000
A third-rate drag queen in NYC: 7,030

What's wrong with these numbers? It looks like quite a bit. First of all, look at Jennifer Blowdryer's numbers vs. mine. She's important enough to publish a book, yet her google numbers are less than mine. How could that be? And a whole helluva lot more people know who Reverend Jen is than who I am, so why are my hits so much closer to hers than JBs? And look at Stephen Guarino's (a friend from Florida State): He's done a number of shows up here (was in Bway Bares) and has an improv group; his numbers should be higher than mine. I'm not really sure where Mark Baratelli's numbers should fall, but I wouldn't necessarily have thought they would fall above Stephen's. Britney Spears was used as a control, so her number is meaningless. She's not so much a person as a planet. Here's the real shocker, though: a third-rate drag queen in NYC scores numbers higher than any non-planet entity above. How's that? I'll tell you: when you click on her google search, you realize that you only go through 2 or so pages of real results; the rest are duplicates, and all from her site, which could be called if I hadn't reserved that today. This fact raises an interesting point about the other results: If you look at my results, you'll find a lot from my own sites, plus some radio links and a handful of links for different Ed Shepps. But if you look at, say, Guarino's and Blowdryer's, you find an arguably more substantial universe of links: reviews, press, etc. Baratelli also has his own site, whereas it appears that Guarino doesn't, so that may explain how he's getting better numbers than Guarino. So it appears that one needs to actually look into the search results as opposed to just the number that google gives you. Yeah, you're prolly all saying, 'duh,' but whatever; I'm not all that bright.*

*Neither are you, booyatches, so don't even pretend that you're ahead of me here.

So how are we to measure our worth if not through e-googling (still my favorite term for it)? What, by our virtue or lovingkindess to others?? Where the hell do you live, Nepal? Get off my blog, Pema! What we need is some kind of algorithm to sift through google's results on our names to get an idea of how important we REALLY are, so we don't get our hopes up with all these pie-in-the-sky numbers that google is giving us. Now, I would think this is something Technorati could be doing, but they seem to be doing pretty well with their business model of Let's-offer-something-that-you-can-do-through-google-anyway-and-pretend-it's-a-new-service, so I don't see them leading the pack. Who will step up and lead? WHO will step up and lead?? (I would do it, but between the radio show, this new bookstore and Being Bobby Brown I'm frankly overloaded as it is. But hey, if someone donates me a TiVo.... Shizz, is that the right spelling?!?! Editor, HELLOO???)

Well I think I've raised enough crucially important issues for today. So I won't even mention that book that got me all shook by declaring the end of civilization because of oil and climate change and what not. That's today's beep then.

Ed Shepp


Jase said...

Who is this Blowdryer person, and why is she not a hairstylist?

Great post! Luv it!

(Editor, ger you're ass over here!)

Ed said...

I must confess: I wasn't sure if I'd heard of Jennifer Blowdryer before I saw the book. You come across so many names like that here---who knows?!? I think--I'm not 100% but I think--she's a drag queen. There are actually chapters in the book for lesbians who want to be more butch and guys who want to be more femme. Who knew! :P

victor said...

ed darling,

hey we spoke a few times before. i have a proposition for you and your talents..

speak to me!