Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You never know what you're gonna get.

".... like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get". (Forest Gump)

I went on a vanity exercise last Sunday and did a bit of egosurfing.
Egosurfing is what you do when you send your own name through the web search engines, what some folks say "Have you Googled yourself?"

What I got back were pretty much expected.
Most of my entries on my blogs and Facebook and my reviews of hotels in Tripadvisor.

Even then, it was still a pretty amazing feat.
I can still remember those days when we used Netscape and did basic searches with Gopher and Archie... ok,ok, I'll stop talking of those days! Sigh, it comes with age...

Then for amusement I thought, let me try searching the National Archives.
Maybe I can trawl something there?

What returned truly surprised me.
The results brought back snippets I assumed would just be forever locked within  my own personal memories.

In the National Archives, I could find only once when my name turned up.
This was in The Straits Times of 24 Oct 1977 when the results of a photography contest was published.
I was placed 4th in the Adult Section (sounds pornographic today haha!)

BUT the most amazing thing was that it was able to link my name to my father and father-in-law and brought out articles that I would never have thought survived to this day.

There were actually quite numerous articles about my father since he was linked to the dramatic and arts scene circle back in his days. Mostly about the plays he performed in those days, but here's one that was about his career.

Straits Times, 12 July 1967

The most mind blowing find was about my father-in-law.
How did it ever make the connection I will never know.  You'll get a blast over this one!
It was from the Singapore Free Press (now defunct) of 17 May 1960.

The article was an interview with my father-in-law, Mr Francis Teo, who after 12 attempts managed to get his 1st born son!
What were they thinking in those days? Guess he really was a staunch Catholic.
My wife Juliana is ninth from the right of the row of girls in the picture.

Search engines like Google and Bing today use such powerful mathematical algorithms that nothing appears to be hidden from it and it can tie in the minutest details and link it to your query.
I dread the day when privacy is a long forgotten word.

Try egosurfing the National Archives yourself, you never know what will turn up.

1 comment:

  1. Wonder what happened to the portfolios we made for his wake...would be great to get it back..he did live an 'interesting' life