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The Scrivener: You Might Be Surprised

“Well, what a surprise. I've just received an e-mail message telling me that my details on a website I've never heard of have been entered or revised,’’ writes Brian Barratt. “What ho, I thought; I'd better have a look.’’

Good gracious! They say I am a Board Member of Bonzer. That's an on-line magazine where much of my writing appears, and it does not have a 'Board'. Furthermore, my address at Bonzer is given as:

26Ththe Kelly Gang Kill Three Policemen At Stringybark Creek, Victoria 1878, Australia.

I kid you not.

Quite apart from the esoteric '26Ththe', it would be interesting to know how a newspaper headline about an event in 1878 became my 'address'. Perhaps it's something to do with computerised automation or the work of spotty youths who have invaded the website.

Digging a bit deeper, I find that its aim is to: 'Accelerate your business with the industry's most comprehensive profiles on business people and companies.'

My business? Er, um, excuse me, but I don't run a business. The industry? Which industry? Comprehensive profile? Ho ho! Apart from giving a garbled newspaper headline as my 'address', it makes no mention of my websites or the books I've had published.

I checked the names of several friends, including other people who write for Open Writing. Some are listed, some are not. Then I checked for Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes, whose name is sometimes confused with mine in general Web searches. And there he is, listed on this amazing website. Particularly amazing in view of its aim to accelerate Sir Brian's business, because Sir Brian died six years ago.

You, too, might have been listed by these people, without your permission or consent. Their name is ZoomInfo. You can find out by googling for zoominfo followed by your name. You might be surprised by what you learn about yourself.

© Copyright Brian Barratt 2012


For more of Brian’s gloriously entertaining columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_scrivener/

And do visit his engaging Web site


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