My name is Stephanie Chan and I suffer from common name syndrome.
Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a big problem if I had decided to become a doctor or a lawyer. This does become a problem when you’re a journalist trying to grow an online presence, but every variation of your name has been snatched up on every social platform on the internet.
I go into a lot of sites knowing that “StephanieChan” is probably not feasible for me and out of my reach. “StephanieC” is out too. So is “StephChan.” Actually, so is “StephC,” “StephanieYChan” and even sometimes “sytc,” which isn’t even comprehensible but they’re the initials of my full name. Who is this person who took this string of gibberish on Twitter and decided to do nothing with it? At least I would turn this word jumble into something worthy of attaching my identity to! In frustration, I attached a useless and meaningless “c” at the end and called it a day. And that’s the story of why my tweet handle was “sytcc” until very recently.
What all this means is that I have to work twice as hard as a lot of people to even make it onto the first few pages of a Google search, and SEO optimization is a palpable, living force inside of me that has made me increasingly obsessed. Are the titles of my posts right for site crawlers? Is every picture complete with alt tag? I continue to be poor and therefore can’t spend much on hosting, why won’t WordPress let me change title tags on this blog??? I won’t stop complaining about it in real life. I’m a crazy woman.
It’s a cheap thrill, but wouldn’t it be great if when you search my name, my picture actually ended up on the first page of Google image search? (The answer is yes.)
My competition in Stephanie Chans includes thusly: A Vancouver-based graphic designer, a PR/Communications professional, a lawyer, an animator, and a self-employed comic/anime blogger who somehow managed to get every “StephanieChan” username that matters on the internet. How did she do that? Where was she at the birth/dawn of the internet?
Along that vein, where the heck was I?