Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In the world of Google, Max Clifford can't hear you scream

Jordan (Katie Price) and I have at least two things in common. Firstly, a penchant for a little too much make-up, secondly, a need to manage our online personae.

With regard to the latter, I fell in love with the idea of the two online manifestations of her corporeal Dorian Gray existence revealed in Saturday's Guardian interview. Drunk, spilling out of nightclubs Jordan's fans have a home at whereas the pink, pony-loving princess among mum's Katie Price's fans can congregate at

I started to wonder whether Katie/Jordan's got it right? Whilst in the early 90s, this would have been heralded as evidence of multiple personality disorder, in the 21st century, this seems more like an online pseudonym or Second-Life avatar writ large.

Personally, I'd embraced using just my real name online a while back despite realising the strengths of pseudonymity but more recently have been wondering whether the work-life seepage I've worried about for ages is further compounded by the blurring of work and home online existences.

Over the past year friends and I have literally blogged about births, deaths and marriages, alongside seering indictments of the British media and idiotic self-referential, self-deprecating twaddle (that last one'll be me then, sorry).

In an age when we will make more (shallow) acquaintances with people online than in our day-to-day lives, and our online traces become vital clues for future employers, partners, employees, children even, maybe we should be treating our online presences more like carefully constructed PR exercises or dating profiles - trimming the equivalent of a few inches and years here and there - and less like brain dumps?

My conclusion to this so far, however, is still to be found with Jordan. I believe the strength of her image and continued dominance in the British media is not just down to her beauty, physical attributes and careful stage management but, as the Guardian article alluded to, an unflinching honesty that others can relate to (although I'm not suggesting that everything is shared unless you want to get a reality show out of it).

Unfortunately for Jordan/Katie, when it comes to online, a Google Image Search for Katie Price reveals a selection of alarming images that make a mockery of a carefully split fan base and that no amount of media manipulation can alter; once you're in the world of Google, Max Clifford can't hear you scream.

(Idle aside: I wonder whether the Katie Price persona was pushed partly to ensure better Google results - less competition what with the country and the trainers. Now that would make her a smart businesswoman.)

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