NYC blogger embraces self-promotion, gets Yahoo's attention

How can a personal weblog stand-out?


Big Apple based Bryan Murphy is, apparently, very proud of his name. Last summer he started a self-named WordPress personal weblog:

“Bryan with a y”
“Home of the Find Bryan Murphy Project”

One of his first weblog entries, August 30th, 2005, starts with a search on his name:

Kudos to Google, and the internet in general, for, in microseconds, providing me with multiple answers to every conceivable question I may have. Type in “who is Bryan Murphy” and in seconds, you will have 1,190,000 web pages describing every person on earth named Bryan Murphy, except me…

In an effort to promote his weblog, and subsequently himself, Murphy put his ad agency experience to work for his own account and created the “Find Bryan Murphy Project.” Murphy describes the motivation behind his project to “find himself” in his own Q & A:

Q: “Who the hell is Bryan Murphy?”

A: Me! I’m just some ordinary guy living in New York City, wanting to do something unique - involving the entire population of Manhattan.

Q: “Where did you come up with the idea for the “Find Bryan Murphy Project”?

A: The idea was actually inspired in many different ways, explained in the following rambling and abstract manner: Initially, I wanted to get off my ass and do something unique and creative. Something fun. Something I could devise and totally manage by myself, yet something I could share with many other people (in this case, the entire population and island of Manhattan). Something I could create, explore and learn from. Something people would think was fun, cool and want to take part in. Something unique: part performance art, part blogger experience, part social experiment, part project management, part creative endeavor and part fun and exciting. Here’s an idea! Start small. Have people visit your blog – learn about you – and try to find you one day while you’re out in New York City!? Sort of like a giant, interactive, real life game of “Where’s Waldo?”, but with a different name to avoid any copyright infringement lawyers. (We New Yorkers LOVE to sue each other) How much buzz could I generate? Who would get involved? How far could I take it? Who would I meet? Who would come out and find me? How much fun would I have? How small could I start this and how big could it get? How do you manage a project like this? How hard would it be to pull this off? How many questions could I possibly ask myself rhetorically? If I started this project - what would happen?

Q: “What do you do for a living?”

A: I work in advertising as an Art Director. I’m also an aspiring writer.

What exactly is the “Find Bryan Murphy Project?” According to Murphy:

On Saturday, July 22nd, if you are anywhere on the island of Manhattan and have nothing better to do, I invite you to try to find me. Sort of like a gigantic real life game of “Where’s Waldo?” but with a different name to avoid any nasty copyright lawyers.

From 9am to 5 pm on Saturday, July 22nd I will be somewhere in Manhattan, outdoors and enjoying this fine city. All you have to do spot me, stop me and say something like “hey, aren’t you that guy from the internet Bryan Murphy? I think I found you!!!.” And I will happily and enthusiastically respond to you, “are you a copyright lawyer!? ”

If it is determined you are in fact not a copyright lawyer, I will declare that I am the Bryan Murphy you are looking for and offer my congratulations, because you have indeed found me. Why should you do this? Because it’s fun and a very easy thing to do on a Saturday if you’re in the city.

Murphy has been actively promoting his “Find Bryan Murphy Project.” Murphy reports:

In an effort to try to generate some buzz about my “Find Bryan Murphy Project”, I’ve been trying to contact media outlets and anyone I can think of to try to get a mention about it. As a result, I recently communicated with some folks at Yahoo!... I wrote them to see if there was some way I could get a “buzz” mention on their news page. After all, I AM the number one search result for “Bryan Murphy” on Yahoo! search, and this is a very prestigious title.

To Murphy’s surprise, Yahoo liked his “fun and creative idea.” Murphy chronicles Yahoo’s reaction:

talked about the possibility of utilizing Yahoo technology to help people “search” for me. So, instead of offering my project’s participants dinner and drinks or some cheap awards as incentives to be on the lookout for me...Yahoo wanted to hook me up by allowing me to hook YOU up – like really hook you up. Yahoo said they will give me a new Dell laptop and mp3 player to offer people as incentives to get out there and look for me – AND, they would also get me a camera to help me document the whole event! More importantly, we also decided a salami or two would make a great incentive as well. After all, salami is a universal symbol of goodwill and friendship - qualities important to me and my project.

We’re also looking into getting some realtime GPS tracking via my Nextel phone – for tracking on Yahoo! Maps.

Murphy is anxious to “be found” on Saturday. He has provided “where to look” tips, but it seems like he will be “everywhere”:

Places to look for me: - SOHO - Canal Street - West Village - Chelsea - Wall Street - Brooklyn Bridge - East Village - Rockefeller Center - Bryant Park - Lower East Side - Union Square - Chinatown - Herald Square - Grand Central Station - Little Italy - Central Park - Times Square - and everywhere in between!


Murphy, showing size of salami?