Some names I liked a lot, like thinkerer and heystack, were unavailable — or available for some exorbitant fee. We’re talking thousands of dollars.
Friends were asked to pick their favorite from a list. Opinions split. Some went for funny, some for serious, others liked versions that played off my last name. After all, a major part of the mission was to create a profile/portfolio page that shows up when people Google “Peter Mucha.” (Because I was an online reporter for years, and my name isn’t that common, it’s a bit surprising, and frustrating, how lost I’ve been in the great Google shuffle.)
The choice was tough, and frankly made counter to the best advice. A website should be focused, but being a a scatterbrained inventor type, I knew my website wouldn’t be. I wanted it to include offbeat essays, lasting information, photographs, videos and cartoons. Wanting room to grow and include other voices argued against including my name in the main one. Being general also meant, oh well, forget working in any keywords/common search terms.
For the main site, I used a WordPress theme called ColorMag, because it can showcase a lot of stories in a variety of ways, not just in a list. ColorMag was designed for news sites, but it works for my site, too, which is more about observations and information capable of lasting. (Big news organizations can afford to hand out popsicles; a solo act has to craft furniture.) My hope is “Light Sabers Are Lame” might be fun to read for years. Refresh the page to restart an animation of Yoda defeated by bees.
Now I had a landing spot for a personal profile/portfolio page, petermucha.thinkableornot.com. The look needed to show off illustrations and design work, with text blocks for a little info. So I used the Word Press theme Pinboard, opting out of its big display boxes, to create a Pinterest-type look.
I’m pretty happy with the results. How the sites look, that is. ThinkableOrNot seems to fit my muses and my moods, to find the humor in logic and the logic in humor, through such pieces as “How NOT to Find Bigfoot,” “Test Candidates With Quiz Shows!” and “Shooting Holes in Sherlock’s Fake Death.”
Next comes a lot more work. Getting my name to inch its way up in Google results means laborious tricks, like adding links on my sites to the portfolio page. Hopefully, adding an author line to posts will work without being obtrusive.
Just for the record, as of 7/29/2016, if you Google “Peter Mucha” the first page of results I see is all “Peter J. Mucha,” a professor in North Carolina. Oh wait, in another browser, my LinkedIn page, which I updated yesterday, just sneaks in. On the second page, my seldom-used Twitter account, also just updated, now appears. Then it’s the headline for one of the silliest things I ever wrote: “Man caught red-handed pinching 91 lobsters.” (Check it out if you like shameless puns.) On the next page of results, it’s the Steal My Ideas, Please website, and a weird brief on IMDB because of one interview I gave for a lottery special on 20/20.
That’s about it for the first 50 results. My name isn’t common, but there are enough name-alikes who have passed me by.
Then after a mention years ago in a book, my author page for ThinkableOrNot.com appears. A list of my blog posts, not the portfolio page — that’s not in the first 100.
This self-obsessing over nothing is far from fun for me, and is probably boring to you. So I’d drop the subject, except gotta document whether it worked. Will update in coming weeks.
One more tip: If you want a photo to appear in Google images, try adding names/key words in an alt tag. Will let you know if that works, too.