This latest from Google puts me in mind of an Uncle Remus tale:
What’s that you say? Facebook is a walled garden? Say it ain’t so! Oh, lawdy, ‘jes don’ put me in the Facebook patch! (Google WISHES it had Facebook’s troubles, press, and market.)
Seriously, this has got to be the most ludicrous “pot calling the kettle black” bit of blather I have recently witnessed.
Point: Google only cares about Facebook’s walled garden because they think it is keeping them from creating their own. (When, in reality Brin, it is merely and quite effectively demonstrating that “Google just doesn’t get social” by repeatedly giving you the chance to drive every new social effort you come up with directly into the hardest piece of ground you can find).
Ah, Brin, how arrogant you have grown. You think Facebook is your biggest worry; this is amusing considering how well it underscores the dissonance about the real issue already consuming your company from the inside out. (Oh, no, I don’t think I’ll be baldly stating it here; you no longer deserve to hear it. Figure it out or fall to it. Personally, I’m hoping the latter these days.)
Yes, Brin, the web was open when you got to it; it will remain open so long as you don’t get your way. Sorry, how much does this have to do with Facebook again? (Brer Rabbit hand-waving isn’t quite working for you.)
Yes, yes, I know that we are not supposed to know about the close work with NSTIC.
Yes, I know we’re not supposed to notice that you’re scanning our “free” data stores to feed your algorithms for advertising and marketing… that all this “free” stuff is costing us our privacy (Why, how bout ‘dat? Ain’t this the same privacy you sayin’ Facebook is invading?)
Yes, I know that we’re not supposed to understand that Google has traded their “don’t be evil” motto for “don’t like it, don’t use it” because, Brin, you have actually convinced yourselves that you’re “big enough” and “safe enough” to do it with impunity…. you’ve become a predatory network.
But I’ll tell you something, Brin, you have forgotten something; you have forgotten something very important and all this arrogance is only going to make what comes of that oversight the more surprising to you when it arrives.
And yes, Brin, I know you have no idea what I’m talking about; that’s kind of the point, you see. You’ll dismiss the very idea that there could be anything. This is what Google does best these days, arrogance and dissonance being what they are and all.
Don’t worry, Brin, you’ll know it when it’s in your grille and, thankfully, by the time it is, it will be far too late for you to do anything about it and the rest of us will move on to the next and newest thing… the one that’s going to replace you. Oh, I’m sorry… do you truly think that Google is invincible? (I admit, I kind of hope you do; it will make the poetic justice of it all just that much sweeter.)
Fortunately, some of us learned a thing or two from ol’ Uncle Remus; enough to know that whenever someone’s hollering about how awful something is and how much they would give anything to avoid it, chances are usually pretty darn good that they’ve got an ulterior motive. (And in most cases, it’s the same one.)
But I reckon Google don’ know nuttin’ bout dat, eh Brin?
Meanwhile, Gary Reback, arguably the fellow with the best insight upon what constitutes actionable monopoly, put it quite eloquently in a recent AFP article published at Yahoo! (ref link: http://news.yahoo.com/google-likely-next-antitrust-push-tech-giants-163230027.html),
There are people still entering the market in social networking. You don’t see that in search. Search is the real problem right now…
Google’s response? The all too usual party line, a refrain almost as usual from them today as it is clueless:
“We design our search results to serve users, not websites, and the great thing about the openness of the Internet is that if users don’t like the answers we’re providing, they can switch to another website with just one click.”
In case you don’t recognize it (is that still possible?), it’s the same ol’ “Don’t like it, don’t use it” schtick. (Gotta love that dissonance; all the more so for the effective probability of it being natural rather than contrived is effectively nil at this point, in my personal opinion.)
Let’s see… At present, the count of complainants in the EU alone have risen to thirteen ; meanwhile, here, at home, the heat is coming up as well.
There are now several suits underway, the FTC has expanded their inquiries to include activities with Android as well as with Apple as they contemplate just what Google has been up to of late. Indeed, the most recent one between Skyhook Wireless and Google seems to involve (among other things), Google’s complaint that Skyhook interfered with Google’s “contractual rights to collect end-user data.” (Golly, how dare they! Privacy? Be damned!)
Oh, oh, and let me not forget this little gem… apparently Google has decided to try and get into polling; reckon owning identity isn’t working out so well and now they’re hoping to dredge up better from ripping off and mimicking a company called “Civic Science” (ref link and interesting little response from this company here: http://about.civicscience.com/blog/2012/4/17/top-10-reasons-were-excited-about-googles-survey-product.html). Let’s just say that any “Google Survey” I encounter will either be ignored or deliberately populated with false data. Fortunately, if Google’s m.o. is as usual, I’ll never see them because I no longer have a GMail account (points back to previously mentioned litigation over that issue and chuckles).
(Let’s see, is the pattern of Google’s intent and motivation not yet clear? In my opinion it is crystalline: Google sees you have a good thing, they either wait for access to your alpha or your public beta… or maybe they contact you and ask for an agreement; either way, as soon as they learn everything they can, they break ties with you and introduce a competitor, one that looks or acts or performs remarkably like what you have. This activity, according to the FBI and Plagiarism.org is called plagiarism or intellectual property theft, but doesn’t it just seem that, these days, it’s “business as usual” for Google?)
Meanwhile, on the anti-trust side of things, I found this letter by Senator Kohl outlining concerns on the matter to be particularly well done. And, of course, meanwhile, it seems Google (that would be you, Brin, amongst the trio of would-be dominators now “leading” Google) has decided to play the “la la la, we can’t hear you” game and, rather than take the increasingly loud and consistent feedback seriously (Yes, yes, I know, apparently ‘don’t be evil’ has become quite passe’ these days), try to build up public sentiment about “meanie Facebook” not letting you play your way on their playground.
Isn’t it just so odd how easily and quickly you can make the “unfair” claim when the shoe is on the other foot?
How easy for you to swear that it isn’t doing anyone any harm to bias search results, create derivative products that blatantly rip off the model and method and presentation of others (i.e., Diaspora being the most recent in a long, long list), and play word games in anti-trust hearings as if we’re all just going to have your preferred brand (!!) of selective amnesia… but only until someone does the same thing you’re doing, right, Brin?
It amuses me no end that you want to complain about Facebook. Tell you what, Brin, here’s a phrase you might have heard somewhere before… “Don’t like it, don’t use it.” (And yes, I hope that stings the way it bloody well should.)
But hey… I’m not one to bitch about problems without offering a solution. So here, a freebie you don’t have to mimic or steal; in fact, a solid compromise that removes the biggest issue of anti-trust and, since you’re obviously no longer interested in REAL search, it shouldn’t be a problem for you:
Donate the Google search engine to the public domain and simply remove your connection and ownership.
You may as well, since you obviously can’t help but abuse it otherwise.
Of course, I do realize this means you’d have to return to doing something I’m sure you’re tired of…. competing. But the good news is, it might be just the thing to break that deadlock of arrogant presumption that has been hamstringing pretty much everything you’ve done these last ten years in social media.
It might even keep you from going on the rack for your ridiculous, rampant, and reckless disregard for personal choice and privacy.
Not that I expect you to care about that until you’re made to, of course.