Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Google Dominance

Dear James Gleick,

I enjoyed reading your article about how Google dominates us.  The way you expressed how Google worked within your article made me feel that Google had just found the right niches at the right time and exploded into the industry with such force, that it created a company to rule most of our lives.  It is crazy to think about how much Google actually has a grasp on our everyday lives.  One thing that was questioned within your article was that of privacy.  Google gathers all the data our their about us without us even knowing.  You simply type a name into the search bar and up comes information about that name including hobbies, work, home, etc.  It is actually scary to see how not private our information about ourselves actually are.  As quoted from your article, "They believe in information—”universally accessible”—as a force for good in and of itself." (Gleick). Google was a company based on doing no evil.  They believe that information should be universally accessible for everyone.  Also mentioned within your article was the point of Google creating a "blind spot" for personal information and privacy through it's own technology.  Google seems to have it's own personality to each of these views concerning privacy and sharing of information.  It seems to create a struggle within the company itself concerning doing no evil yet attempting to survive as a big corporation where the general nature is to be scaled towards their shareholders.  I read another article by Danah Boyd who spoke about how a users handle names on the Internet are now a commodity.  Handle names had become how one was known on the internet.  Now the wrench which was thrown into this handle name situation was that the line between companies and regular users were becoming too blurred.  As quoted from Boyd, "When is a Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook/YouTube account an individual? When is it a company? When is it an individual at a company? They’re all meshed into one TYPE: account. So then who has precedence?" (Boyd).  Trademark seemed to be an issue here.  Some companies would go after another users handle just to simply make sure that those pages never showed in Google's page rank.  A company will bully another user with a company handle just to make their site better known.  This information plays an important roll within your article because it points out that information through Google's page ranking system is of such importance, people and companies are willing to fight for others similar handles to push them out of the picture.  Google dominance hows pushed for companies and users alike to create trademark for themselves in an online world and they are fighting to push to the top of google through buying out others.  It is crazy to think how Google's dominance forces a change in game play between companies within the Internet. 

Best Regards,

Carlos Feliciano

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