Monday, April 23, 2012

Google and Facebook Dominate the Internet

Dear James Gleick and Danah Boyd,
            I was in agreement with James Gleick in his article “How Google Dominates Us” as soon as I began reading, because there have been so many times I’ve gone onto Google to search for something and before I’ve even finished my first sentence Google has a whole barrage of suggestions for me that have nothing to do with what I was going to originally search. However, once I type in a few more words, what I was going to search pops up along with other similar suggestions, which I always find a little crazy that it manages to know what I was going to ask. Even know, I went onto Google because I link to include images with the letters I write to authors, and I search on Google Images for funny Google Suggestions and it immediately knew what I was looking for and the list of suggestions seemed to be endless. I personally get into these arguments all the time that you suggest about movies and then use my iPhone to look up the answer, which on my Safari app has a direct link to Google where I can pose any question I might have. When it comes to facts like who won Oscars, I would go to Google, however if it was just to check and see who was in what movie, I would use my IMDB app on my phone to reference that, which I find myself on far too much as it is. It’s funny that you say we’re wrong to say we “looked it up on Google” because, again I commit this crime all the time. I’m always talking about how I found something on Google, when in fact I don’t even check to see what website it redirected me to for that image or information. If it’s image searching, I’m actually annoyed when they want me to go onto the actual website instead of just letting me save the image straight from Google. I found a lot of insight in your article when discussing Levy’s book as well as PageRank, which I remember I’ve heard about it previously in school but didn’t actually get what it was. After reading this article, it makes a lot more sense now. I don’t really understand algorithms and stuff of that nature, but I get the jist of that and I think it’s amazing and a little scary that things like that are possible. It really makes me wonder what the intentions of some websites like Google and Facebook really are. I know I’ve tested with my friends and we always get different (not too varying thought) ads on our Google searches and sometimes different suggestions, even if we typed in the same search word for word.

            Danah Boyd, I think you posed a few interesting questions about who has the right to these domains in “A Customer Service Nightmare: Resolving Trademark and  Personal Reputation in a Limited Space”, I’ve honestly always wondered this. I had because I used to have a Myspace and Xanga account, since which I’ve lost all the passwords and usernames for and I haven’t posted on Xanga in 7 years, but it’s still out there for everyone to see from beginning to end, and Myspace I haven’t been on for almost 5 years, yet you can still see everything. I’ve wanted to delete these  accounts because they’re a little embarrassing and God forbid a potential employer ever found them, I know they’re really old and don’t reflect me now, but still I can’t help but cringe when I look at them.  I like the quote that was left on your blog, “In other words, we kind of got tricked into becoming small fish in a pool with much bigger ones.” I think I see a lot of examples about what you discuss in your article relating to trade marking when I am on Facebook. Also, seeing the Social Network, while the entire movie isn’t 100% accurate, I feel like that kind of gives me an idea about what this trade marking really comes down to when it’s branding. I agree with you that the internet gets really messy, especially it comes down to people trying to create their own unique identities by creating pseudonyms and such (I’ve seen a million examples of this one Facebook). It gets hard to weed out accurate information and proper branding when things get so wishy washy.

Ana Luisa Suarez

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