Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is it time we Got Over Google?

As someone who uses the internet Far Too Much, the smiley cheerful way that Google is taking over my life is starting to really get to me. Most of my day is spent on the Google Search Engine, many of my friends use Gmail addresses, and of course there are a load of other handy Google branded gadgets you can hang your life upon.

Whilst it is now fashionable to hate Microsoft and many people are now experimenting with Linux-based operating systems, we seem to have welcomed the monster that is Google into our lives without much complaint.

Why is that? Well for a start, google is free. At least it is free for those of us who don't try to advertise with google. The competition is so great that this has forced the prices sky-high. Second, Google is easy to use and addictive. It doesn't normally go wrong.

On the other hand, Google must single-handedly hold more sensitive data on more people than any other corporation in the world. Forget closed-circuit TV, if government really wanted to spy on us they'd just ask Google for our details. Something that already happened in China - albeit with yesterday's internet giant Yahoo.

And as a very basic principle, I believe in Small is Beautiful. Google is big, ergo it is not beautiful. Maybe it is time more people rebelled against Google and the other corporations that are taking over our online lives *cough* myspacefacebookwordpress *cough*

Maybe the future is ours. Maybe we can actually make a difference - if we focus on the small and the non-profit. Maybe we need to reorganise our lives around alternative search engines, non profits and the tiny competitors of Google. Maybe it isn't actually that difficult if we really try.

Meanwhile, I've got to get back to promoting and optimising our websites for all those Google visitors.



Blogger Benjamin Ady said...

gotta disagree with you on the generalized "Small is beautiful, big is not beautiful".

For one thing, small and big are words that are in some sense astoundingly relative.

But more importantly, ... are you saying this isn't beautiful? or this? Or this?

Do you suppose, for instance, that God thinks New York or London is not beautiful, and Podunk, Middle of Nowhere is?

A favorite preacher of mine used to say "Creation began in a garden, but it ends in a city." New Jerusalem is relatively friggin' Huge!.

Not to come across as contradictory or anything =). I hear you on the google thing. It is kind of creepy, in a way, all the data they have. I used their free directory assistance service, and so they also know, sometimes, who I'm calling. Wierd. What's super creepy is not all the data they have, but the fact that they understand how to use the data well enough to monetize it so effectively.

But hey--the ancients had the gods, and we have google and microsoft. [grin]

11:23 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I'd say London as a whole is not particularly beautiful, some of it is downright ugly. There are small areas and communities of beauty.

I'm not going to argue about the universe because for me it is too complicated to comprehend enough to appreciate the beauty. I'd be much more likely to look down and appreciate the beauty of the buttercup than to look up at the universe.

Anyway, I'm not talking about natural phenomena. Shumacher was an economist, so the small is beautiful thing is about the arrangements of human society and economy.

12:13 AM  

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