Google, mission complete.
What would you do without Google, how much do you really know about them? Yes, that was a direct question to you there. Yes, you!
I ask you this because Google has reached every corner of the internet, with a branded answer to just about anything you could want or need, it’s still spreading too. It wasn’t until my final 180MC task that I realised the scale of it all, and with their recent privacy change announcement – that’s when everything slotted into place, that’s when it all clicked. Nothing is free in this world, and if you are using something without paying and it is ‘good’ then there are two possible reasons: Either you are a criminal and you have stolen something, or YOU are the product without even knowing. I cannot remember who said that, but I know for sure that it applies directly to the Google Monopoly.
In April 2011 Google claimed it had hit the rough average of 1 billion different users using their products every month, they store every nugget of data whenever someone ‘Google’s something or downloads a file; whether you are filling out your life on Google+ or building a presence on YouTube it all goes to their information banks, where it is catalogued and analysed for their benefit. Facebook has roughly 900,000,000 users now, and Zuckerberg’s corporation farms all of the information to be sold as marketing data, Google has beat them at their own game before they even set up their own social network services: Everything about you is expressed through what you are attracted to, so whenever you ‘Google’ something you are telling them what you like, how you think, and what you do.
How could they have made all their money? Billions of dollars don’t simply appear to those with good will, they appear to those who are subtle, and can exploit without ever getting caught. The search engine transformed into a conglomerate that had an answer for everything, and we don’t pay? It’s not open source, it’s weightless capitalism.
I have thrown that word around a few times, it basically means the aforementioned business has a maximum output with the absolute minimum cost whilst maintaining an ever increasing demand. Because nearly all of the current digital natives grew up with Google they never sought after an alternative, so opposition like ‘Yahoo!’ or ‘Bing’ fizzle out of relative existence. With everyone unquestionably using Google the market becomes dominated, and the free media that we call the internet becomes just another field of commercial activity. And to keep the ‘net slaves’ hooked on Google they release new services and products on a regular basis; this is done without warning and without charge (totally contrasting the high-profile approach that Apple uses). But Google are killing two birds with one stone, as well as keeping us hooked to the franchise they are wiping out any future market contenders – companies with promising technology or ideas are snapped up and re-branded Blue, Red, Yellow and Green. Google has bought thousands of patents and resources from all over the globe, if it benefits them they slap it onto the shopping list…SparkBuy (Google Shopping)
Zagat, Zave, ITA systems (Travel, Offers and Booking)
Phoenetic Arts (Google Translate)
E-Book Tech (Google Books)
RightsFlow (Music Rights management)
Postini (Bought to make Gmail)
Pyra Labs (Bought to own Blogger)
Youtube (Huge traffic = huge profit)
ZipDash, Keyhole, Whereto (Google Maps and Google Earth)
NevenVision (Bought to make Picasa, to compete against flickr)
Teracent (Bought for Adsense, huge source of Google income)
Katango, Social Grapple, Fridge, Jambool, Slide.com, Social Deck (Turned into Google+)
It’s terrifying, they know more about is than most (if not all) of the government agencies in known existence: They know where we live, what we know, what we eat, what we buy, believe in, like and dislike, what we do for a living, our sexual habits, our capabilities as products or employees, the list goes on. But it doesn’t stop there, they can monitor us in realtime with the new service Google ‘Latitude’, and thanks to the voice and face recognition software in their chrome books and nexus phones they will have mug shots and recordings too.
What I find very worrying is the playful innocent image they are painting themselves, with the GooglePlex and the Advertisements!
That’s a lot of information, one could call it a ‘God’s-eye view’ of the world. That information could be passed on or sold at anytime, so technically someone could be passing around files on your family as we speak, or a ‘Government’ agency could be coming to arrest you for some law you broke when you were online. Maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but the point is we are giving up much more than we anticipated in exchange for the wonders of the internet.
Think about that next time you post something online, or look at something you wouldn’t want other people to know about.