I recently decided to enter a writing competition. The name of the individual listed as the judge was one I’d not previously come across. So I Googled him, as you do. As usually happens, the first result was from Wikipedia. This gave me an outline of his career, his books, awards for which he had been nominated, and a list of the publications to which he has contributed. At the bottom, among the sources cited, I found a link to a website.
Following the link I found what I at first took to be the writer’s own website. But something didn’t seem right. The biographical details tallied but the language was not what you would expect from a professional writer. It seemed more like the work of someone for whom English was a second language. Exploring further, clicking on ‘recent posts’, I found articles in which this, to say the least, quirky rather than creative use of language was very apparent.
Returning to the Google results page, I quickly found the person’s real website. Obviously real, because of the correct use of language. Use that was certainly creative, as you would expect, but in the right way. Neither site offers contact details. The real site, however, does provide the person’s Twitter handle.
I tweeted him, suggesting he examine the site and saying that it looked fake. I received a reply agreeing that it was indeed fake.
What I find puzzling is why anyone would do such a thing. What does the person who created the site and offered articles purporting to be writing advice from a successful author hope to gain from the exercise?
It could be you
I have not named the person, to save embarrassment. I know that at least some of my followers are writers. My advice to you is to Google your name. Maybe someone has created a fake site in your name. I’m guessing you would not want to have poorly written writing advice out there carrying your name.
And to those of my followers who engage frequently in re-blogging, I would urge you to re-blog this, so that all your writer followers get to see it, too.