I’ve received an email from journalist Helen Holzer about a post I wrote in 2009, Who Speaks for Romance and What Do They Say About Us?
In that post, I quoted Holzer (correctly), but then stated that the paper she wrote for, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, did not do much romance reviewing. I was wrong about that — Holzer herself wrote a romance column for several years — and I’ve updated the blog post with the information Holzer provided.
I’m very grateful to hear from people about things I’ve gotten wrong, but it creates a bit of anxiety, too. I consider this blog just a fun hobby, but as more people use Google, and Google alone, to get information, a mistake like the one I made can spread falsehoods throughout the web as it gets copied or quoted. Luckily, Read React Review is nowhere near the point of having to worry too much about being a bad influence. When I Googled “Helen Holzer”, for example, the post I wrote did not show up until page fourteen. But wrong is wrong, for big fish and small alike.
Clearly, it’s not just vanity to set up Google alerts. It’s a key part of managing one’s online reputation, which is coming to be one’s reputation per se. Several people have landed here by riding the Google alert train — academics who would never normally read a romance blog, film directors, book editors — and I completely understand why.
Anyway, I thank Ms. Holzer for her thoughtful correction and I apologize for the error.
Now excuse me as I head over to Google to set up some alerts!