Dustin Freemans of the Internet

My name is relatively rare, but not so rare that I’m in the only one with it. I first became aware that there were other people with my name out in the world when I was 12. I was getting my first bank account so I could be paid for a paper route, and my Dad was treating it like a rite of passage. The teller idly mentioned that there was another Dustin Freeman who lived in Winnipeg. I knew immediately that he was my sworn enemy for stealing my individuality.

I “work” in a field where online presence is important. People need to be able to find you and cite you easily. Papers often have…unusual and expressive titles so that they are easy to search. Take my first paper for example: ShadowGuides. We could have had the title Shadow Guides, but that produces less unique results. It brings up Shadow of the Colossus, though which is nice, because that is a beautiful game.

Everyone’s competing for name space, and personal names are no different. Ever since I’ve started googling myself, I’ve been tracking how the other Dustin Freemans are doing out there, over the years. I’m the biggest Dustin Freeman on the internet these days, but it wasn’t always that way. Here’s the ones I’ve gotten to know:
Dustin Freeman from Wichita, Kansas, who has a great picture.
Dustin “Bugger” Freeman, an amateur rapper that apparently died before his time and has a kid out there somewhere.
Dustin Freeman from Florida, who apparently was arrested for massive amounts of cocaine possession.
Dustin Freeman from South Carolina, who got busted for stolen prescription drugs. He might also be the same as Athletic Dustin Freeman from Charleston.
Yet another Dustin Freeman from Florida who was busted for possessing amphetamines. (What is the DEAL with people who get arrested for drug dealing using my name? Maybe I should take it up)
Nanotechnology Dustin Freeman, whose picture always comes up for some reason. (This reminds me of Data Analysis Cosby, har har)
Dustin “DJ Basha” Freeman from Myspace.
Dustin Freeman from Texas, who is hilariously involved in a class action lawsuit against Apple and others about personal information sharing.

I haven’t tried to engage with any of these Dustin Freemans. I have tried to join fan clubs made on Facebook for other Dustin Freemans to cash in on the love, but it hasn’t worked:

This post was precipitated by some fool in California who has started giving out my email address as his own. From the emails I’ve received, I can tell that:
– he rents cars frequently
– he buys girl’s dresses, or approves them or something (I got an email with the subject line “dresses” and a bunch of pictures of models wearing dresses. I replied. It definitely isn’t spam.)
– he works for some company that does shipping “Choice Logistics RMA’s” (I’m currently stuck in a Reply-All trap with these guys)

Stop giving out my email asshole! Get your own!

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One Response to Dustin Freemans of the Internet

  1. Hah, I think about this stuff too. My name is way more common than yours. When I set up my website, I did some googling too. There are a ridiculous amount of ‘Melissa Clark’s out there. That’s why I made my site as ‘Melissa Jean Clark’. Using my middle name makes a HUGE difference! Google ‘Melissa Jean Clark’ and I’m the top hit. ‘Melissa Clark’ and I’m not even on the first page.

    Hilarious comments on the Facebook groups you joined.

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