Chris Brogan

In Google We Trust

Friday, January 9th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

I hear about the anti trust lawsuits against Microsoft.  Honestly, I think they are a little bit of “hey, lets get the big guy — he’ll pay us to go away” — but still, we’re protecting our bests interests.  

We trust Google.  Google has always been the digital apple of software user’s eyes.  Think about it, when was the last time you were pissed at Google?  So we trust google.  We trust google’s famous mantra “Do No Evil”.  We trust all of our emails with Google.  We trust Google with our digital lives, and sometimes more (how many of us acknowledge Google’s Picasa web albums as what we consider acceptable backup of some of our most precious moments.  We condiser Google a member of our family, someone we would trust with most of our private information.  

We need Google.   On my daily routine, I must use some aspect of Google every 5 minutes.  It’s disgusting if you think about it.  How much we rely on certain things, notions, and ideas to be constant in our lives.  How much of the web relies on Google?  Lets look at what I use Google for:

  • My Gmail account
  • My seangw.com email (I won’t even get into how much of my life depends on that email service)
  • My calendar gets sync’d with my google calendar
  • Support for all of my technical issues
  • Reference material for my profession
  • IM
  • It’s where I send my family to see photos
  • This blog submits every post to Google
  • This blog uses Google’s Adsense, for advertising revenue (however small that may be)
  • 80% of the traffic on this blog comes from Google
  • I throw out those pesky outdated firmware CD’s that come with hardware, because I can google for updated drivers and firmware
  • Desktop Search
  • Web traffic analysis (analytics)
  • SEO tools
  • You Tube (enough said)

I’m sure there are dozens more uses I have on a daily basis for Google’s technology. 

Now what if one day I couldn’t log into any of the services I use at Google?  We depend on google.  I think if I found out I couldn’t use Google products and services, my life would change dramatically.

An article on Chris Brogan‘s blog, When Google Owns You, describes the story of Nick Saber, who loses his Google account.

The problem with monopolies is that we end up relying on them.  Even if there is no mal-intent, what if a mistake occurs?  A simple keystroke on a keyboard somewhere can probably delete our online lives.  

When do we trust a company too much?

Google likely knows more about you, than your significant other.  Additionally, you probably rely on Google (funtionally at least) more than your spouse.  

I’m going to think about Google in a different way. They have a lot of control, for a company who has automated email responses.  

After all, individually, Google doesn’t need us.

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