Kid in a Candy Store

4 comments

Google recent acquisition trail seems a bit like a kid, who has just realised you can do things with money, being given $100 and let loose down the candy store by their extremely rich parents.

The purchases seem random and could be put down to the 'Oooh that looks nice , I'll have one of those' factor.

You look at it and think 'Yes the kid is very bright but....!'

You can't help feeling that something is not quite right, this kid is going to end up as a spoilt brat and that somehow all is going to end in tears.

As a result of this you think where is all this going why are Google acquiring sites with large user bases. It all seems to come down to the gathering of information about user behaviours and individuals and companies patterns and habits. For me its now got to the stage where each new purchase sends an additional chill down my spine, the amount of data that is being collected is greater than that compiled by any totalitarian regime in the past on the habits and behaviours of its citizens.

On the other hand you have to hand it to Google, its got to the stage where, if you want information you can pretty much guarantee that you can find it through Google.

But all the time the alarm bells keep ringing in my head, when you speak to an Adwords rep and they almost have shock in their voice when you say you aren't using Google analytics for your tracking or that you don't use Google's conversion tracking. Yes okay they may well be the best out there and provide the best value for money, but... sometimes some of us have to say that using second best is acceptable - the price you are asking us to pay for the best is just too great even when it is a free service.

I'm not sure where I'm trying to go with this post or why I'm posting it, other than the fact that there is a little chill that runs down my spine with every new purchase that Google makes and every new great service (and I can't knock the quality of the packages that Google is offering when compared with the competition) that is being given away free. Its almost as if Google is offering us a return to the Garden of Eden as long as we turn our back on the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.

Comments

I don't think their strategy

I don't think their strategy is bad, even if you ignore the fact most of their purchases are mining for personal data.

Google is like Virgin. Buy a losing stock with nothing wrong with the core product, stick your name on it and voila, the publicity causes the stock to make money. If they get synergies, that's a bonus.

I wish I was google :)

nice post Kali, interesting

nice post Kali, interesting style, quite amusing )

new approach to privacy

yes, nice post. What's undeniable is that all this cannot be prevented from happening. There will be no shadows left to hide in. We have to learn how to manage transparency.

Fortunately, the massive exposure of the formerly private is being displayed to people with twitter-length retention.

The culture itself will become more forgiving of people's old embarrassments that get turned up, more people will ignore it anyway, and we have to start planning now to live more transparent lives.

In other words, what we held to be ours, actually isn't. And if there are secrets we want to keep, we have to learn new ways to keep them.

but fighting against this unstoppable tide will only waste the time we should be spending creating clean hands that look the way we want.

Also, if we and our operations aren't transparent, then the exactly perfect services can't be delivered to us, and we miss out.

meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I am buying a Trek 4300 mountain bike for my son, and a Kona Hula for my second. I know what I want; I took them to test ride them. Now I go to Google to check Internet prices and can't find any. I get the trek manufacturer site, and epinions. A retailer in beunos aires, and a bike shop in the UK. I'm in Seattle. Ditto for the Kona. Of course there were PPC ads, but not for local bike shops.

I checked the local directories and found 5 bike shops in the area, all with online stores, several selling the trek 4300 and the kona hula. I also found numerous used bikes on various forums. But I didn't find them via Google.

Buy on rumor, sell on news. Google says "universal search" is coming soon. I take that to mean Google isn't really much on search anymore.

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