Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Official... Google IS Evil

Google's much-lauded corporate motto has been "Don't be evil."

As the company grows and its stock price approaches a squillion dollars, the company slides ever closer to the line between good and evil.

Let's put aside kowtowing to the repressive Chinese government and look a little closer to home.

The Wall Street Article, "Google Takes Aim at Wikipedia," describes how Google is creating its own site, Knol, where users can contribute expertise on any subject. Those entries will of course be presented alongside ads, Google's core business.

Picking on a non-profit global volunteer effort such as Wikipedia is really low. It reminds us that Google is a giant corporation with quarterly goals to meet and stockholders to please - not just a great big sandbox with salad bar, video games and massage chairs.

This is worth remembering as educators go gaga over the largesse of Google's "free" tools.

As my great grandmother used to say, "There's no such thing as a free search."

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  • Gary,

    While I don't get to the point of calling Google Evil, I do share similar thoughts in terms of where Google is going. I posted on my blog here about Google, just after returning from NYSCATE. I actually mention you in reference to my thoughts after chatting with you at the Constructivist Celebration.

    Thanks for your independent thinking - it helps keep us all honest.


    By Anonymous Michael, At December 17, 2007 8:53 AM  

  • Hi Michael,

    I was playing with Google's motto in naming my blog entry.

    There may be interesting aspects to Knol, like the the lack of gatekeeping that makes Wikipedia so precious, but my main point was that Google is a for-profit business.

    There's nothing wrong with that, but it's worth remembering.

    Happy Holidays!

    By Anonymous Gary, At December 17, 2007 10:47 AM  

  • Gary,

    Open source is to Microsoft as Wikipedia is to Knol. It is a shame that Google is targeting something that is essentially an altruistic idealistic social experiment in order to increase profit.

    Google has been crossing a line as it becomes a major content provider. It can certainly give an appearance of unfairness when the top rankings for any search start becoming Google's own content pages. They are seriously impacting their credibility in my book.

    We, the end users, need to make choices that send a message to Google.

    Hey--isn't this a Google site?

    BTW--enjoyed your presentations at NYSCATE.


    By Anonymous Steve, At December 20, 2007 7:55 AM  

  • Dr. Stager - Not to point out the obvious, but I suddenly realized why Google is doing this:

    By Anonymous Mr. Moses, At January 2, 2008 8:47 PM  

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