Sunday, January 21, 2007

Living Large On Line

Have you ever "Googled" yourself? I've heard that a Google(TM) search is a good way for the online dating crowd to check out new poeple, but I've also discovered that we ordinary folk often have on-line lives more impressive than the real thing. I found this out by searching for my own name.

I found at least one hundred references, although many of them are duplicates, and some are not about me at all. There are a few other people named Marlys, most notably Lynda Barry's comic character (no relation as far as I know, although there are a few unflattering similarities to a much younger me). There are famous Stynes in the music field, too--also no relation to me or to my late husband.

The references that are actually about me begin with links to my and profiles. Of course I contrubuted those and a few other profiles myself in the hope of selling my book. My name also comes up on the publisher's book-selling site,, and on other book selling sites such as and Information by and about me also appears on AuthorsDen, OnceWritten, Reader Views, and a few other sites for writers. You can even listen to me on line: a reading at and a podcast interview at My Eons groups are listed, too: "Retirement Life," "Eons Writers," "70 & 80 plus," and "70+ and Still Living Well".

I'm also on the web sites of the organizations I belong to: Illinois Womans Press Association, Chicago Writers Association, Authors Marketing Group, and Story Circle Network, as well as on the Secretary of State's Illinois Writers site. There's even something on the site of StoryCircle Chicago, where I sometimes participate in writing workshops. There are references to this blog as well.

Book reviews, interviews, a press release: they're all on line. You can even find my name on contributors' lists for the Tribune's McCormick Fund and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, but that requires more searching than anyone is likely to do. They were small contributions anyway.

Unfortunately, some of the references to me are outdated. I'm still listed as a Wright College department chair, even though I retired in 1999. There are references to some minor articles I wrote during my teaching years, one a review of a simple word processing program that a solved a problem that no longer exists: students entering college with no knowledge of computers. That review was published in the 1980's. Things change fast in the computer world. Finally, there's a link to that ridiculous book review that calls me "Dr. Stone" and gets other basic facts wrong (see "Unknown Authors and Internet Reviewers" in the November archives of this blog).

While I'm not really a personal publicity hound (hey, I wouldn't mind getting on the Oprah Show, or even getting a ticket for it, but that's not going to happen), I hope all this minor hype gets my book and this blog noticed. Most of us want our fifteen minutes of fame. Mostly, I'm just having fun learning the ins and outs, the plusses and minuses, of the Internet--and all of this publicity is either free or inexpensive. Who needs a press agent? It just takes a lot of free time.

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne.

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