I am not an internet celebrity.
Still, type my name into Google, and – if you can get past cameramen and trumpet players – you can find a fair few traces of me online. There’s this site, where I bang on about nonsense. There’s Noise To Signal, where I used to bang on about nonsense. There’s Ganymede & Titan, where I bang on about Red Dwarf-related nonsense. And so on.
Now, I used to go to school with someone who was pretty similar to me. Not identical – he stuck his finger in places where I could only hope to stick it at that point – but we liked a lot of the same things. He was cooler, though. He had his own shed. He was a far better programmer than me (as in, he wrote things that could do more than play a CD roughly half the time you pressed the play button). Sure, I once beat him at a calculus question, but that was about it.
I lost touch with him years ago, but I sometimes wonder what happened to him. So occasionally, I type his name into Google. And what do I find? Precisely nothing.
This is something I come across time and time again. All the people I used to know – the nerds, who you’d think would have a fairly widespread net presence – I can find nothing. There are people I would expect to have reams and reams of blog posts attached to their name, or writing for some website or another, or even just have a page which listed a few electronics projects they were working on… but I can find absolutely sod all. And from conversations I’ve had with other people online, it seems I’m far from alone on this – a lot of old friends they would have expected to have a presence online have just disappeared into the ether.
What happened to them?